Could connected vehicles solve road congestion?
More than 30 per cent of inner-city traffic in the UK is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot – wasting time, frustrating drivers and increasing vehicle emissions. What if we were to tell you that connected vehicles and connected digital parking services can be deployed to generate insightful big data that will help solve mobility challenges such as the parking conundrum.
Data as the currency for connection
There are currently more than three million connected vehicles on UK roads, offering vast amounts of real time information. There are benefits to be had from connected cars – and sharing this data is a critical part of drivers taking advantage of them.
Built-in car computers are not new - cars have been generating data for years. However, the data is usually of a technical nature (mileage, fluid levels, engine status etc.) and is only stored locally. The amount and type of available car data is growing exponentially as cars become more connected.
Connected vehicles now have the capability to direct drivers towards available car park spaces, identify the cheapest price tariffs and, in the future, make parking payments through the dashboard.
Local authorities will be able to combine large datasets - such as analysis of traffic flows - with real-time on-street parking demand. This can then enable the setting of demand-led parking tariffs and inform decisions around traffic management policies, the building of new parking facilities and the development of new resident parking schemes.
A connected future
Connected cars can empower drivers with personalised digital information and have the capacity to improve the driving experience through features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, remote control of car functions such as ignition mechanism, and improved infotainment systems.
Equally, the technology offers local authorities a range of strategic and environmental advantages, by providing the data which can influence planning decisions. Towns and cities can benefit from connected cars in several ways - reduced congestion levels, improved road safety, smarter parking and lower vehicle emissions to name just a few.