Parking detection added to traffic management system

TrafficWare extends use of vehicle to infrastructure communication capability with car park vacancy detection in version 2.6.

Six months after delivering a commercially viable Connected Vehicle ATMS module for 2017 model year vehicles, Trafficware has added more functions to its Central Management System at version 2.6 including a new subscription-based parking detection module, becoming the only traffic management system with this capability.

Across the USA, transport authorities are looking to better utilise their valuable parking real estate and automate what has previously been a tedious manual job. In fact, the parking public are coming to expect such services, appreciating the convenience and time savings, avoiding circling a lot looking for open spaces. The new parking detection module, using Trafficware’s patented wireless pod detection system, allows transport agencies to aggregate this vehicle detection data into their central traffic management command centre.

“Trafficware distinguishes itself by delivering consistently paced and relevant innovation. We take pride in having the central traffic management technology to be the central hub of advanced capabilities,” Trafficware CEO Jon Newhard explains.

“Since communities are quickly moving to deploy Smart Cities technology, requiring a vast assortment of capabilities like adaptive signal technology, high-resolution data or connected vehicle intersections, we want Trafficware to be the obvious choice for agencies because of our rich functionality and central integration as can be seen by additional capabilities in the cloud.”

Hundreds of transport authorities rely on Trafficware’s system to support their communities’ complex transport networks, cities like Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans and Palo Alto. Trafficware has more than 250 major installations with equipment deployed at more than 20,000 intersections globally. These customers count on Trafficware to keep them up-to-date on technical advancements and make use of their current investments.

Since Trafficware released its Connected Vehicle module in version 2.5 in July, the company has deployed more than 1,000 intersections and has seen major automotive companies introduce 2017 models with vehicle to infrastructure connectivity. The Palo Alto system in Silicon Valley went live in May and was selected as a finalist for the Best in ITS Awards.”

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Fibre reinforced sidewalls improve tyre strength

Nokian Tyres is extending the use of its Aramid sidewall material technology beyond 4×4 vehicles to other classes of tyre.

Aramid sidewall prevents tyre damageCareless parking or hitting a pothole may severely damage a tyre. Sharp crushed stone may also damage the tyre and render it unusable. If the tyre has suffered a hard and sharp impact, you should immediately have it inspected at a dealership. Sidewall damage usually requires purchasing and fitting a replacement tyre.

The Aramid Sidewall technology developed by Nokian Tyres offers a new type of durability and protection for demanding driving conditions. The strong, synthetic Aramid fibre used in the tyre sidewall compound reinforces the structure. The fibre makes the tyre more resistant to impacts and cuts that could otherwise easily break it.

More value to customers

Nokian Tyres is extending the use of the proprietary Aramid Sidewall Technology in SUV tyres designed for varying and demanding winter use. This unique Aramid technology that offers additional protection and improves durability will be available in even more products from the beginning of 2017. Going forward, this technology will also be utilised in the Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT winter tyres and the Nokian Rotiiva summer tyres.

“We have received a lot of positive feedback from SUV drivers and our innovation has been found to be functional in practice. This unique feature that provides added durability offers more carefree kilometres to the consumers. Accidental tyre damage can incur a high cost, but the Aramid sidewall that protects the tyre from lateral impacts may even prevent the damage altogether”, said Petri Niemi, Head of Product Management at Nokian Tyres.

The Aramid sidewall structure that was first utilised in the test-winning Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded tyre is exceptionally resistant to wear and cuts. The extremely strong fibre contained in the sidewall structure is also used by the aviation and defence industries.

Each product that contains Aramid technology bears the Aramid logo on its sidewall.

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European partnership on electric mobility

Sweden and Germany have agreed to cooperate on smart mobility projects and electrified roads as used in Sweden by Scania.

Electric road project kicks off in EuropeAn innovation partnership has been launched by Chancellor Angela Merkel between Sweden and Germany. The partnership includes mobility and electrical roads, areas where Scania’s innovations are already being put to the test.

The joint announcement by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Chancellor Merkel of “Innovation and Cooperation for a Sustainable Future” aims to strengthen the two nations’ sustainability, economic and technological competitiveness, and covers four areas, including mobility and electrical roads.

A key focus of the cooperation between the two countries will be the development of electrified road technology, work that has already been started by Scania in cooperation with its German counterpart Siemens.

The two governments’ announcement aims to strengthen the cooperation on development, and applying technology that is already available, while also strengthening the two nations’ ability to compete with others in offering the best sustainability products as the world’s needs continue to change rapidly.

Electrified road for heavy goods traffic

The agreement also underlines the value of strategic partnerships in creating systems for a future of sustainable transport. An example of such partnerships is the collaboration between Scania and Siemens on electrified road technology, which resulted in the world’s first electrified road for heavy goods traffic on public roads, being opened in Gävle, central Sweden, in June 2016.

The two-kilometre stretch of the E16 highway is run by the Region Gävleborg close to Sandviken and the city of Gävle, and is the result of partnerships between various public and private sector entities in Sweden and Germany.

Scania thinks that electrified roads represent one important part of a future sustainable transport system, and the company is now ready to take the next step from field test to real commercial implementation.

“It’s an honour to be able to explain Scania’s work on the electric road to Chancellor Merkel. The agreement between Sweden and Germany underlines the value of strategic partnerships in creating solutions for a future of sustainable transport, something to which Scania is fully committed,” says Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson.

“I very much welcome the partnership and study that will be the first step of it, where Scania is happy to contribute with the experience we have gained together with our partners Siemens and the Region Gävleborg in running our hybrid trucks on the electrified road E16 outside Gävle.”

Read more on Scania’s sustainable transport initiatives at “Environmental Engineering”

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Automatic enforcement on trial to protect Bournemouth schools

Schools in Bournemouth are taking part in a trial to see if automatic enforcement system can deter illegal parking outside school premises.

Auto enforcement protects Bournemouth schoolsBournemouth Borough Council is taking the first steps towards a fixed deterrent to reduce the increasing incidence of inconsiderate parking outside schools by deploying Videalert’s fully hosted CCTV-based enforcement platform.  Six cameras will be deployed as part of a year-long pilot scheme at an initial three school locations where illegal parking on the yellow ‘keep clears’ has been identified as putting children’s lives in danger.

According to Elaine Smith, Deputy Parking Services Manager at Bournemouth Borough Council: “The zig zag lines provided outside our schools are there to protect our children, making the road safer to cross.  We have in the past tried using camera cars but it is hoped that using fixed CCTV cameras will prove to be more effective in changing the anti-social behaviour of those who drop off and pick up their children in restricted areas.”

Videalert’s CEaaS system is easy to install as it does not require the procurement and deployment of any equipment within Bournemouth’s IT infrastructure or software to be installed on local PCs for evidence pack review.  A single PTZ camera installed on a lamp post continuously monitors the keep clear zones and automatically captures only the drivers that are stationary in defined ‘watch areas’ and exceed the ‘watch times’.  The system combines automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) with video analytics to deliver the highest productivity at the lowest operational cost.

Qualified council operatives can access and review evidence packs using standard web browsers before transmitting confirmed offences to the back office processing system where PCNs are issued.  Videalert is providing Bournemouth Borough Council with a dedicated virtual server to guarantee the highest level of security and integrity with cloud storage used for backup.

“Outsourcing to a hosted enforcement environment enables councils to improve efficiency, maximise productivity and maintain greater control over costs,” added Tim Daniels, Sales and Marketing Director of Videalert.  “This innovative solution also allows for other civil traffic enforcement requirements, such as bus lanes, to be easily and rapidly added as well as providing a platform for delivering traffic management and community safety applications simultaneously without needing a major IT infrastructure project.”

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Self driving vehicle partnership struck

Uber and Daimler are cooperating on the development and operation of connected, autonomous, shared electric vehicles.

Daimler and Uber have agreement on their intent to cooperate on the supply and operation of self-driving vehicles. Daimler also plans to introduce self-driving vehicles on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years. Daimler is the first automotive manufacturer to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars.

With its new corporate strategy entitled CASE – which stands for “Connected”, “Autonomous”, “Shared & Services” and “Electric” – Mercedes-Benz Cars is marking out the cornerstones for its future success and the reshaping of mobility. This agreement is the next step into the future of shared and autonomous driving. Daimler is a pioneer when it comes to self-driving vehicle technologies. The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the world’s first series-production vehicle to be awarded a test licence for autonomous driving in the US state of Nevada. With its Highway Pilot system, Daimler Trucks is now the world’s first truck manufacturer with plans to develop an autonomous driving system for use in commercial vehicles.

Uber has assembled a strong self-driving engineering group with its Advanced Technology Group, which is testing self-driving vehicles on the road in the US. Uber’s Otto division is also working on self-driving trucks. And Uber has valuable experience that comes from running a ridesharing and delivery network across 74 countries.

Each company will benefit from the other’s capabilities in research and development of autonomous driving and network operations.

“As the inventor of the car, Daimler aims to be at the forefront of autonomous driving – one of the most fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility”, said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Mobility service providers offer an ideal platform for autonomous driving technology and Uber is a leading mobility platform company. The real revolution in future mobility lies in intelligently linking the four major trends we call CASE: connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing and electric mobility. And we will certainly be the driver of these changes.”

Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder of Uber, said: “Self-driving technology holds the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible. But we can’t get to that future alone. That’s why we’re opening up the Uber platform to automotive manufacturers like Daimler. By combining Daimler’s and Uber’s technological strengths, more people can get access to reliable transportation at the push of a button.”

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Automatic street lighting colour intensity

Minnesota city trials street lighting from Echelon connected to the IoT for remote adjustment or automatic environment-based control.

Safer street lighting in White Bear LakeEchelon Corporation is currently conducting a deployment of so-called “white tunable” connected streetlighting with the municipal leaders of White Bear Lake, a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota and design firm Short Elliott Hendrickson. The new Lumewave by Echelon product can dynamically regulate the amount of potentially unhealthy blue light emitted from outdoor lighting. With this innovation, city managers can adjust streetlight colour from soothing warm yellow to bright blue-white based on activity levels, time of day, weather and events. Dimming levels can also be remotely adjusted, making the system ideal to aid visibility for first responders, security professionals and more.

“Being the first to try this new technology and see it in action was very rewarding,” said Mark Burch, Public Works Director/City Engineer, White Bear Lake. “We could raise the brightness and select a more vivid hue during an evening event. With a scheduled scenario, we could shift the lights in that same area to a warmer hue at 2:00am when there are rarely park visitors, other than our nocturnal wildlife. We could also program sensors along with the lights to automatically respond to higher foot traffic or certain weather conditions for optimal visibility. The new technology could give us the power to elevate the level of public safety and quality of life across our entire community.”

This next-generation, connected LED lighting control technology enables municipalities to realise the full scope of LED streetlighting benefits, from improved public safety and reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance and costs, to better health, quality of life and environmental comfort. White Bear Lake’s successful implementation of Echelon’s new technology is an example of the company’s commitment to foster safer and more comfortable cities through IoT-enabled connected lighting.

“Municipalities now have the power to create the perfect environment at any given time,” said Ron Sege, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Echelon. “Imagine the improved public safety if all of the streetlights in an area were immediately whiter and brighter when an emergency call was responded to, but otherwise dimmer and more yellow at night for restful sleep. Cities need not compromise safety for comfort or vice versa. Our technology is paving the way for smart cities to improve quality of life, while still achieving energy efficiency and sustainability goals.”

American Medical Association vs. LED Benefits

The American Medical Association issued a policy statement about the harmful effects of outdoor high-intensity, LED lighting on humans and the environment. The guidelines put forth a recommendation for communities to control blue-rich lighting to reduce glare and discomfort. The AMA also warns that the blue-rich LED lights can suppress melatonin, which can negatively impact human circadian rhythmicity causing poor sleep quality, among other health concerns. According to the guidelines, outdoor streetlighting should have a colour temperature of no greater than 3000 Kelvin (K) at nighttime.

On the flip side of the issue, lighting researchers and experts counsel that, if the lights are either too yellow or too dim, visibility and public safety may be compromised. The Department of Energy supports the use of LED streetlights because they consume approximately 50% less energy than the common high-pressure sodium and metal-halide lamps. They also last longer which has cost-saving appeal for many municipalities. Each side of the debate has valid points, forcing city managers to ultimately believe they must make a choice between health or public safety.

All of the Benefits at once

While many municipal leaders and sustainability managers may feel the pressure to make the right choice, Echelon has engineered a product that doesn’t force people to choose one set of LED streetlight benefits over another. Echelon is the first to give municipalities the power to adjust the white colour and brightness level as required.

In a demonstration at White Bear Lake, council leaders were able to adjust both the light level and the white colour range in its city park lighting. By being able to tune from warm white (2700 Kelvin) all the way to cool white (5500 Kelvin), city managers can modify outdoor lighting to enhance quality of life without compromising visibility or public safety. A warm white of 2700K was preferred for times with low activity, while a higher colour temperature of 4500K was deemed to provide better visibility for times with higher activity and during public events.

“There has been a lot of controversy in the industry regarding the colour of light generated by outdoor lighting and the possible harmful effects it may cause to humans and the surrounding ecosystems. This issue forces agencies to select the preferred colour temperature before installation of a lighting system,” said Ken Taillon, Manager of Municipal Lighting Services, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., who led the project engineering. “With Echelon’s innovative technology, agencies no longer have to choose the colour temperature during the design process. Tuning the colour of white light in conjunction with adjusting the brightness level provides opportunities we’ve never had before. Lighting systems can now respond to the dynamic needs associated with providing necessary public safety while rendering colours and light levels that are more appropriate for lighting the after-hour nighttime environment.”

Custom colour tunable lamps, drivers and controls provide the capability to easily shift from cool white light to warm white light, offering endless options for smart cities.

Echelon’s smart streetlighting infrastructure serves as a platform that allows smart cities to integrate IoT applications as needed. Coming together to create this next-generation infrastructure is Echelon’s new CLP 4000 connected lighting controller, SmartServer 2.2 converged universal gateway and LumInsight central management system (CMS). The combined products can set colour scenes based on a programmed schedule, sensor inputs or manual adjustment.

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HIL testing for advanced automotive technology

National Instruments responds to requirements for more advanced ADAS and autonomy testing with updates to VeriStand software to enable HIL testing.

Test engineering and technology specialoist, National Instruments (NI) has updated its VeriStand software, as used by embedded software test engineers to build and run hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) verification systems, to cater for the growing need for such testing in the automotive industry.

With the emergence of vehicle autonomy and connectivity, engineers in the industry are facing increasingly compressed schedules and constantly changing requirements. The VeriStand platform and NI’s HIL systems are the most open and customisable platforms available on the market to help companies meet these changing demands and future-proof their test systems.

HIL or “Harware-in-the-Loop” testing enables faster development cycles by enabling software simulation routines to be performed as a complete system with hardware elements “plugged into” the simulation as required. Rather than waiting for an entire hardware prototype to become available, complete system level testing can be performed on each piece of hardware as it becomes available.

Engineers take advantage of NI’s HIL systems to tackle the increasing complexity of embedded software and rising number of testing scenarios required as the newer technologies that make up next-generation vehicles like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), automotive radar and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications become commonplace in embedded control systems. By building on open and proven technology software and hardware platforms, NI can quickly add native support for these new technologies to ensure customers can achieve complete software test coverage.

“Through NI’s flexible platform-based approach, we could easily customize the HIL system to integrate specific test requirements for the vehicle electronic controllers,” said Zhang Fuli of Beijing Jingwei HiRain Technologies, an NI Alliance Partner. “The NI software and hardware systems made it easy to add functionality to our tests and satisfy the practical requirements of automotive HIL testing while retaining stability and reliability, and reducing the overall development cycle.”

VeriStand is the software core of NI’s HIL systems. It combines real-time simulation, data acquisition, communication protocols and control into a common platform for the most complete HIL test software on the market today. And unlike traditional HIL software that is defined by the vendor and hard to modify, VeriStand can easily be extended and customised to meet customers’ particular test requirements. With the newest release of the software customers can:

* Achieve complete test coverage by taking advantage of the full breadth of NI I/O, including RF and camera processing.
* Use their models from over 30 different modelling tool and simulation environments such as The MathWorks, Simulink software and IPG Carmaker to test ECUs for the latest embedded software trends such as ADAS and autonomous vehicles.
* Create professional looking UIs quickly and interact more efficiently with live tests using the completely redesigned UI manager.
* Connect with third-party hardware and software through the industry-standard ASAM XIL API.
* Work more efficiently with extremely large models using the improved model handling engine.

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Road scanner gives eyes to autonomous vehicles

Finnish technology company unveils road scanning system to reduce wear on roads by guiding autonomous vehicles round potholes.

Automatic road surface condition monitoringAs vehicle autonomy, platooning trucks and vehicle lane guidance systems become more of a reality and full autonomy is on the horizon, one company from Finland is providing an answer to the concern that such vehicles will have a detrimental effect on road surface quality.

Since cars will be programmed to follow the rules of the road and position themselves optimally in accordance with lane markings, some parts of the road surface will be subject to more wear than others. Also, without the ability to take corrective action to avoid potholes and other surface features, such defects will be made worse with constant vehicular impact.

According to Timo Saarenketo, the President and CEO of Finnish technology provider, Roadscanners, if cars don’t react to the presence of potholes, more and more of them will drive over them and worsen their condition.

“This is why cars should have sensors that automatically report the condition of the road to the highways agency and even other road users through the use of a road scanner,” he explained.

Saarenketo went on to say that autonomous cars will navigate the road as if they’re on rails, without corrective manoeuvres, which will lead to the road surfaces becoming tired and more prone to repairs.

The management of this needs to happen well in advance, he says, since some estimates predict that by 2025, half of the global vehicle fleet will be autonomous.

“The need for the automotive industry and highways agencies to cooperate in meeting this challenge is clear and new new technology can help. Roadscanners is able to make its contribution to the maintenance and care of road networks,” he said.

The core technology of Roadscanners is related to the digitalisation of traffic with Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and autonomy.

“Digitalisation has been Roadscanner’s starting point for product development for the past 10 years. There is hardly anything new in the path to the digital model. What is unique is the fact that we can dive deeper and make a digital image of the road surface. Based on the sensor data from Roadscanners technology, proactive maintenance can be performed and significantly reduce overall costs,” Saarenketo concluded.

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Australian consumer report lacking in safety ratings

ANCAP is calling for new car safety ratings to be included in an important consumer report for the Australian market.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to broaden the scope of its market study into the new car retailing industry to include safety rating information.

According to ANCAP’s Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin the failure by the ACC to recognise the importance of safety rating information as a key element in the new car buying process is unfortunate.

“This study is an important step in understanding consumer needs in a changing and competitive marketplace but information about vehicle safety ratings and how safety is presented in showrooms and advertising should be a focus area,” he said.

According to ANCAP, survey results indicate that about 90% of people buying new vehicles believe that ANCAP safety ratings should be displayed on all new cars.

“Consumers invest significant amounts of money in a new car purchase so it is important to ensure safety information is correctly marketed and no competitive advantage is gained from brands or dealers through the misuse of vehicle safety ratings,” Mr Goodwin said.

The ACCC market study will review industry practices in the sector to assist in identifying risks to consumers and the competitive process as well as explore purchasing behaviours and new car buyer expectations.

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TRL defines future transport research projects

A report from the UK Transport Research Laboratory defines cyber security, simulation and machine learning as three central aspects of future vehicle research.

Cyber security, virtual reality and machine learning are at the centre of a series of ground-breaking research projects being delivered over the coming year by experts from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

These critical topics have been identified as key areas that will inform and evolve the ever-changing global transport landscape, with further projects developing the research around areas such as truck platooning, data science, mental health, smart infrastructure, head injuries and driving simulation.

Funding for the projects is one part of the annual investment made by TRL in innovative research and development and is supported by parent company, the Transport Research Foundation, a non-profit distributing organisation. The programme of ten innovative projects was devised by the TRL Academy in response to the challenges facing future transport and further supports TRL’s independence and impartiality.

Professor Nick Reed, TRL Academy Director, comments: “It is an absolute honour to be part of a process which helps to drive the future of transport. Choosing the projects that will go on to shape policy, design and technological development is always a challenge but we apply key criteria around ensuring the research is relevant, disruptive and deliverable. More than that, it is about providing the TRL team with the opportunity to follow their ideas – no matter how left field – in a structured and strategic way.

“I continue to be impressed by the ingenuity and vision of my colleagues as they advance projects beyond the theoretical and deliver practical, evidence-based knowledge which can be applied to solve complex transport challenges. With an overall goal to produce a transport system that is safe, clean, affordable, accessible and efficient, it is a real privilege to be at the forefront of such innovative research.”

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