Transport for Greater Manchester urban traffic control project will run until September 2016
A part-government funded research project aimed at improving traffic flows to help boost local air quality has been launched in Greater Manchester.
Announced this week (October 13), the year-long ‘SimplifAI’ project will explore how Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) urban traffic control team can collect extra data on the likes of traffic speed, wind speed, temperature, nitrogen dioxide emissions and route geography.
It will then look at how this data can be used to increase traffic flows in real time, minimise delays and reduce air-borne pollution.
Running until September 2016, TfGM said the project could potentially enable it and other transport authorities across the UK give live air quality information to road users such as cyclists and introduce automated traffic flow management.
Once complete, according to TfGM, the project will be subject to review and a decision will be taken on how the findings can influence and improve future traffic management strategies, both in Manchester and across the country.
Nearly £160,000 was granted towards the project from the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The money was awarded as part of a government competition – ‘Solving Urban Challenges with Data’ – earlier this year.
The research project is being run by TfGM, research and development consultancy KAM Futures, the University of Huddersfield, communications firm BT and system solutions company INFOHUB.
TfGM’s head of highways, Peter Molyneux, said: “Congestion is a significant contributor to air pollution in Greater Manchester and we’re committed to developing new ways of managing the roads to improve air quality across the region.
“This project should help us to plan better and make better-informed, real-time decisions when balancing traffic flows on the network or tackling issues such as road closures or major incidents. Ultimately, it could form an important part of our work to keep traffic moving in Greater Manchester, which is essential to the strength of the regional economy and the well-being of our communities.â€?