North East Sat-Nav trial set to reduce stress

The stress of commuting through rush-hour traffic could soon be reduced through a trial in the North East that seeks to streamline city-centre congestion.

New sat-nav technology being tested could help drivers adjust their speed so they can pass through a series of lights on green.

The project, headed by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, is being developed to reduce traffic jams and pollution associated with stop-start driving.

Two other benefits of the system will be a forward collision warning and a red light violation warning, which tells drivers when someone has jumped a red light.

The pilot is part of a £8.6 million project called Compass4D involving seven European cities.

"Traffic management systems are already in place across the city to improve traffic flow but what's unique about this trial is that we will be giving information directly to the driver.

For example, the system might advise a driver that if they travel at 24 miles an hour they will hit the next four sets of traffic lights on green.

In more congested areas or particularly busy times of the day, then key roads might be given priority in order to keep the traffic flowing."

– Phil Blythe, professor of intelligent transport systems at Newcastle University

"Newcastle is already leading the way in intelligent transport systems and this work will allow us to build on the infrastructure that is already in place to provide personalised information to drivers.

By creating a joined-up information system for all road users we can give other users such as the emergency services and bus drivers information which can help them get to their destination quickly and safely."

– Dr Yvonne Huebner, UK project leader