Nicander set to help improve air quality
Pollution is on all of our minds as we head towards 2020, especially as it is almost as deadly as smoking. In the UK, 98 in every 100,000 deaths are caused by the inhalation of pollution. We can all agree that this is a problem, and ITS (UK) member Nicander is delighted to play a part in new work which will investigate some innovative solutions.
Fellow member Highways England has unveiled successful applicants for their air quality and innovation competition. With lead partner (another ITS (UK) Executive Member) Amey Consulting, Nicander will work on two of these projects to combat air pollution on major roads. These projects aim to revolutionise our motorways with aspirations of reducing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) the main pollutant produced by vehicles which has been linked to respiratory diseases and certain strains of cancer.
The first of these projects will utilise variable speed limits on Smart Motorways as a potential tool to reduce the emission of NO2. A speed limit of 50mph, as opposed to 70mph, is suggested as a way of cutting 20% of exhaust emissions due to reduced pressure on engines.
Another target area is exit ramps, which are frequently plagued by congestion. The second project tackles the stopping and starting of engines which causes a massive amount of pollution and wasted fuel. Drivers will be informed of the precise time traffic lights will change, providing a countdown and a recommended speed to prevent stopping. This system is known as Green Light Optimised Speed Advisory (GLOSA).
curo360, Nicander’s platform, will be utilised in both of these projects. When poor air quality is predicted by Amey’s AQATANE platform, curo360 will be used to advise operators of appropriate variable message signs and mandatory speed limits settings to manage traffic flow and advise motorists of the air quality trial. Interfacing with existing Highways England systems will enable existing sign settings and congestion levels to be taken into consideration when advising air quality incident response plans be executed.
Derek Lister, Director at Nicander said, “This contract gives us at Nicander the opportunity to work with Amey Consulting on two Highways England projects which may have a significant impact on road travel in England. Pollution is a prominent concern which we are more than happy to work to tackle. It is also a chance for us to showcase what curo360 can do in the real world.”