Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Technology for safer roads

A multidisciplinary research group formed by experts of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI), the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV) and the University of Valencia (UV) and coordinated by the Robotics and Information and Communication Technologies Institute (IRTIC) of the UV has developed a new system for traffic management which will reduce the index of accidents in adverse meteorological conditions. This system has been developed within the Meteosafety Project, and has been funded by the Centre for Studies and Experimentation of Public Works of the Ministry of Public Works with more than 50.000€. The aim of the project is to get more intelligent roads to avoid accidents, thanks to the incorporation, for the first time, of meteorological variables, together with data on the state of the traffic and the conditions of the road. On the part of the UJI, the project counts with the participation of the researchers Luis Amable García Fernández and Vicente Ramón Tomás López of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Putting into practice Meteosafety, which has been developed during a period of two years, in the traffic management systems “will be able to reduce between 5 and 10% traffic accidents caused or aggravated by the meteorological conditions”, has pointed out Juan José Martínez, researcher coordinator of Meteosafety. Research groups of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the company INDRA have also taken part in the project. Although the system is in a prototype stage, “its incorporation will be very fast and will be able to start to work by the end of 2011, due to the fact it is based on already working technology”, says the researcher.

The development of Meteosafety allows optimizing the data given by the weather stations and detectors installed on the roads, both state and regional owned. In this way, it will help to prevent accidents, and also improve the traffic conditions. This project “implements two levels of intelligence: roadside, notice boards can warn in advance about adverse meteorology. Then the data are sent, in real time, to the Traffic Management centres of the various administrations, where a system suggests the actions to be taken to reduce the consequences of the atmospheric phenomenon on the road network”, says the researcher Arturo Sáez.

Meteosafety is based on already existing technologies and equipments, as for example the standard of the Universal Remote Stations (ERU), the RDS-TMC diffusion or the channel of traffic messages. Even though, in the future, it could be incorporated to the kind of communication technologies known as infrastructure-vehicle, it is to say, that the very same road will inform the car or commercial and public transport drivers about the state of the roads as a whole: weather, road conditions and state of traffic.

No comments: