14 February 2022 | Innovation | Collaboration
The value in delivering real time information to drivers using the latest connectivity techniques and existing technology has been highlighted in the latest ITS (UK) Forum meeting.
The Connected Vehicles Forum, one of 15 run by the UK’s Intelligent Transport Systems industry association, met to discuss how vehicle connectivity could replace fixed infrastructure providing more efficient solutions.
The meeting heard from innovative ITS (UK) member Eloy, which has built a connected car mobile app that includes sat nav voice controls, and supporting software. Damian Horton, co-founder, explained, “Eloy is taking the mobile app route, which has become more attractive with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and more recently, Android Automotive coming onto the market.” He added, “These solutions reduce barriers for us to build and deploy things, because as well as integrating into vehicles’ infotainment screens, we can offer solutions for older vehicles too, which are looking at mobile-only solutions.”
The idea of offering in-vehicle information was echoed by Andy Fisher of Executive Member National Highways who explained how the strategic road operator is working hard to deliver solutions that mean it could assess its current reliance on roadside signage, which currently numbers more than 3,500 across its network. “We can’t keep installing more, there’s got to be a better way,” he explained. “There’s got to be a clever way of giving customers timely information, right across our whole network.
He explained that the A2M2 connected vehicle trial had show many things were possible, but that it was unrealistic to expect to be able to install Human-Machine Interfaces into every vehicle, explaining, “We simply don’t have the money to go and buy all our customers nice in car devices,” commented. “So it’s really working with what’s already there.”
The meeting also heard from Vodafone, which has been working closely with the Midlands Future Mobility project over the past 18 months, delivering vehicle-to-network solutions. Bob Banks from Vodafone told the meeting of Vodafone’s V2X solutions which the company is developing to make it easier for the industry to deliver solutions.
“This wasn’t a meeting of people talking about nice things that may happen in the future, it was a series of here-and-now solutions that are available,” commented Secretary General Jennie Martin. “Our industry has always been brilliant at taking existing technology and developing ITS solutions using it, and the safe use of mobile phones, which everybody has, within a vehicle is another example. This gave our members a real insight to what is possible without the huge cost of roadside installations, and another example of ITS (UK) members sharing their best practice.”
The ITS (UK) Connected Vehicles Forum is led by Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting and Ian Pengelly from WSP. The whole event is available to watch on the ITS (UK) YouTube channel here.