The Problem

When vehicles leave the motorway network at traffic signalised exit ramps they use substantial volumes of fuel to stop and start and emit significant pollutants.  Decreasing the number of times a vehicle has to stop and then restart, can significantly lower the impact on the environment by reducing emissions.  There is empirical data from U.S. studies that indicate creating free flow at intersection roundabouts can reduce emissions between 17% and 27%.

The Research Solution

This project, commissioned by Highways England and led by Amey Consulting, will research the deployment of GLOSA to inform drivers of the exact time traffic signals will change on exit ramps, providing a countdown and recommended speed to transition the signals without having to stop. GLOSA has been identified as a day one Cooperative (C) – ITS service by the Amsterdam Group, the strategic alliance whose objective is to facilitate deployment of cooperative ITS in Europe. There have been several trial projects across Europe using this C-ITS service, but they have all involved the use of specialised Road Side Units to enable operation. This trial is unique in that it requires no C-ITS road side (V2X) infrastructure to operate.

Envirowatch “e-Mote’ sensors will be installed around the junctions to measure the ambient air quality (and changes to it), detecting nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and also trialling new low-cost particulate matter (PM) sensors.

Eastpoint will provide the in-vehicle App to safely inform selected drivers of traffic signal status both audibly and visually. It uses the standard CROCS protocol to get GLOSA data, runs on Android or IOS devices and can work using both 3G/4G and WiFi communications.

Amey Consulting’s AQATANE system will collect all environmental data from the e-Motes and will interface to the local Urban Traffic Control system to monitor real-time status of the traffic signals. It will gather meteorological data (primarily wind speed and direction) as this has a major impact on pollution meaning comparisons of days of similar weather will be required.  The system allows effective comparison of measured and modelled air quality predictions to better determine, understand and respond to changes in pollution.

Nicander’s curo360 platform will be used to collect strategic road network status data from Highways England’s NTIS (National Traffic Information Service) system and will display this information on the user interface; it will pass this data to the Amey Consulting AQATANE system, from which it will be able to analyse and respond to current conditions on the network. The curo360 platform will implement variable message sign settings upstream to indicate GLOSA operation.

The initial trial will be implemented as a standalone system, with settings being representative of what would be displayed through real Highways England systems. Implementation of actual settings would be replicated using the appropriate Highways England smart motorway system and reflected in the updated status data received from NTIS.