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Leicester University to develop HGV routing app for urban areas using satellite data

Academics from the University of Leicester have received European Commission funding to build and demonstrate an app for HGV drivers to provide routing directions in urban areas to minimise congestion, noise and air pollution.


Demonstrator to be presented at the 2015 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems

Leicester University announced on Monday that technology it has developed will be used for the SATURN (SATellite applications for URbaN mobility) project, to be coordinated by the Aerospace Valley in France, funded by European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation programme of the European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance.

The project will be using global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and GIS mapping, and will investigate and test the methodology and techniques to develop a reliable routing platform.

Field demonstrations are to be undertaken in the city of Bordeaux, using a GNSS receiver and data gathering in a test vehicle in collaboration with other partners.

The results of the large-scale demonstrations will be also presented in Bordeaux, during the 2015 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.


Bringing space into the picture

The SATURN project hopes to set up a regional geo-information platform bringing together Earth observation images and other sources of data to enable new services that improve the mobility of citizens.

Professor Paul Monks, from the University of Leicester, said: “Intelligent solutions for managing HGVs as part of our logistical infrastructure in urban areas are essential. Bringing space into the picture could change the game for both hauliers and urban dwellers in routing lorries more efficiently. This is a great opportunity to work on a real-life demonstrator of this technology.”

Professor Paul Monks is also Director of the University of Leicester G-STEP project, started in 2009 to promote the use of satellite, aerial and ground monitoring Earth Observation data in order to improve regional competitiveness.

G-STEP is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the University of Leicester.

In July last year the University of Leicester announced Leicester City HGV (heavy goods vehicle) maps, stated as a hands-free based application that offers a flexible, adaptable solution to the problem of unsuitable HGV routes in Leicester utilising the capabilities of the existing mobile phone freeware Google Earth.

By applying GIS technologies, the maps were claimed as delivering up-to-date, reliable data for approved routes for HGV movement in and around the City of Leicester.


Leicester one of three Satellite Applications Catapult centres of excellence

The University of Leicester was announced earlier this month as one of three Satellite Applications Catapult centres of excellence.

Known as EMBRACE (East Midlands Business and Research satellite Applications Centre of Excellence) the centre is to act as a focal point for Catapult activity in its local area, consolidating the links between the science knowledge base and the business community - with an end objective of helping achieve a 10% share of the global space market by 2030.

Other Intelligent Mobility related projects underway at Leicester University include:

  • iTRAQ - in collaboration with Astrium, De Montfort University and Leicester City Council, the iTRAQ dynamic traffic management system optimises road use while sustaining high standards of air quality in urban environments.

    The study will establish whether an integrated system of traffic and air quality management, strengthened through the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems, air quality and meteorology data from space-borne assets, could provide societal and economic benefits through implementation at the local authority level.

    The target market is anticipated to be that of the local authorities of medium to large towns with typically more than 200,000 people. The iTRAQ system was successfully demonstrated in Leicester in 2011, and development options into 2015 are currently in negotiation.

  • CityScan- in partnership with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, constructs virtually real-time, 3D maps of pollution over entire urban areas of up to an area of 25 square kilometres. CityScan undertakes monitoring of nitrogen dioxide and aerosols, effectively acting like a pollution radar.
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