Intelligent Traffic Management starts to motor in the 21st century

Intelligent Transport Solutions link technologies

Whilst self-dri­ving cars and elec­tric vehi­cles dom­i­nate trans­port news sto­ries, a qui­et rev­o­lu­tion is hap­pen­ing in the back­ground as to how road oper­a­tors such as High­ways Eng­land, your local author­i­ty or the police ser­vices man­age traf­fic – and busi­ness­es whose core activ­i­ties might be com­put­er soft­ware or con­struc­tion, are devel­op­ing divi­sions that spe­cialise entire­ly in ITS’, Intel­li­gent Trans­port Solutions.

The Inter­net of Things affects almost all our lives, and how we use the roads is no dif­fer­ent. So now, the spread of tech­nolo­gies and depth of infor­ma­tion avail­able not only allow for the mea­sure­ment of speed, and the read­ing and record­ing of vehi­cle reg­is­tra­tion plates, but also the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of spe­cif­ic vehi­cle types, dri­vers’ coun­try of ori­gin, the esti­ma­tion of jour­ney times; these sys­tems can divert, speed up, slow down or stop traf­fic, and be used as a safe­guard against terrorism. 

The VPS Group is one such exam­ple or a busi­ness that has suc­cess­ful­ly devel­oped an exper­tise in ITS, in addi­tion to its core secu­ri­ty ser­vices to the prop­er­ty mar­ket and con­struc­tion. Last year, by com­bin­ing and link­ing a vari­ety of tech­nolo­gies from CCTV Tow­ers, elec­tron­ic sen­sors and the Vari­able Mes­sage Signs you see on the road­side, they designed a bridge strike pre­ven­tion system.

Over­height vehi­cles hit bridges in the UK about 2000 times annu­al­ly, caus­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple mas­sive incon­ve­nience, as delays to road and rail traf­fic cost mil­lions of pounds in repairs, safe­ty checks and work­ing time lost. Work­ing in part­ner­ship HW Mar­tin ™ Ltd, VPS devel­oped elec­tron­ic goal­posts’ to check lor­ries divert­ed dur­ing road works on the A66 near Pen­rith did not take a route that would lead them to a low rail­way bridge. The sys­tem detect­ed thou­sands of attempts by truck dri­vers focused on their sat navs, and pre­vent­ed any bridge strikes dur­ing the works.

Since then, the ITS team at VPS have devel­oped a tranche of tech­nolo­gies that har­ness the lat­est intel­li­gent gad­gets to cre­ate a Smart­zone Safe­ty Sys­tem for the roads. In July, High­ways Eng­land start­ed tri­alling anoth­er VPS devel­op­ment, mul­ti­lin­gual road signs. Work­ing again with HW Mar­tin and also Ren­nicks (UK), they deployed mobile CCTV Tow­ers car­ry­ing auto­mat­ic num­ber plate recog­ni­tion cam­eras along the M6. By iden­ti­fy­ing for­eign truck dri­vers in advance of road­works, the sys­tem trans­mit­ted mes­sages such as Road Closed Ahead’ in their lan­guage, to elec­tron­ic signs, in French, Pol­ish, Roman­ian or six oth­er lan­guages, depend­ing on the coun­try of ori­gin for a num­ber plate. 

The num­ber of for­eign HGV dri­vers on UK roads has soared by almost 50 per cent in the past few years. Whilst the use of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion makes it sim­ple for for­eign dri­vers to nav­i­gate through­out the UK, if, how­ev­er, there is a road clo­sure or diver­sion, things can start to get dif­fi­cult read­ing word­ed road signs. In many cas­es, Eng­lish isn’t going to be for­eign dri­vers’ first lan­guage. With this in mind the vari­able mul­ti­lin­gual road sig­nage pro­vides a solu­tion to over­come a chal­leng­ing safe­ty concern.

Phil Bunting, VPS Direc­tor respon­si­ble for the ITS team, says: As part of VPS’ Smart­zone Safe­ty Sys­tem, inte­grat­ing tech­nolo­gies enables us to deliv­er a whole raft of intel­li­gent traf­fic solu­tions that can help improve trans­port and safe­ty for everyone.” 

VPS have just been short­list­ed for the TRANSTech 2019 awards for Trans­port Tech­nol­o­gy Busi­ness of the Year and Part­ner­ship of the Year. 

VPS www​.vps​group​.com

For more infor­ma­tion, high res­o­lu­tion photo’s or an inter­view with Phil Bunting, call the com­mu­ni­ca­tions office on 07722282946 

VPS create SmartZone Safety Systems