UCMK wins research and development funding award

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways May 23, 2014 13:37

UCMK wins research and development funding award

Inset: Professor Ben Allen, Professor of Computer Science at UCMK. Main image courtesy of Kennymatic - Flickr

University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK), part of the University of Bedfordshire, is to receive funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to carry out research that may lead to the development of innovative traffic management systems.

The project will see UCMK, and the University’s Department of Computer Science and Technology, partner with Clearview Traffic Group to explore the feasibility of extending vehicle counting data – obtained from solar-powered sensors built into roads – to include information such as the classification of each vehicle and its speed.

This data will inform intelligent decision-making by transport managers and road network operators in order to minimise congestion and emissions, reduce accidents and lower the costs of installation and maintenance traditionally linked to in-road traffic data collection systems.

Professor Ben Allen, Professor of Computer Science at University Campus Milton Keynes, will lead the University’s contribution to the project. He said:

“We are very excited to be working with Clearview on this collaborative venture, which will also help to put UCMK on the map as the city centre hub for innovation. The University of Bedfordshire’s expertise in algorithms and distributed signal processing will be crucial to the development of this new technology.”

Clearview Traffic Group will lead the 13-month, £116,000, research and development project. Dr Chris Barnes, Head of Engineering, said:

“This project will stimulate innovation at the intersection between connected computing and the use of sensors, providing traffic and transport data that can help decision-making around traffic management.

“The global market for intelligent transport solutions is substantial, and rising year on year. In partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, and with financial support from the Technology Strategy Board, we aim to bring innovative technology to market as soon as possible.”

In order to measure accurately the speed of passing vehicles, detectors must be placed some distance apart. While wireless communication negates the need for costly and problematic cables linking the sensors, it is currently impractical to send all data collected from each sensor due to size, power and capacity limitations.

Clearview’s project will aim to develop a set of novel algorithms for solar-powered in-road sensors capable of gathering and compressing vital vehicle data , enabling it to be sent wirelessly to derive speed and vehicle classification, creating actionable information and informing intelligent traffic management decision-making.

Clearview and the University of Bedfordshire aim to start work on the project in June 2014. The University will receive funding from the Technology Strategy Board of up to £30,000.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways May 23, 2014 13:37