The government has announced a £12m project to develop “intelligent transport systems” to improve safety and road network management.
The Future Intelligent Transport Systems initiative has been set up to stimulate new ideas, products or services that could help improve public transport, reduce road congestion and accidents, boost freight transportation and provide better travel information to help people decide how and when to travel.
The Department for Transport, Department of Trade and Industry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will jointly provide £9m funding, with a further £3m to come from industry.
The government believes that new technologies including distributed networks of sensors, data-mining, agent-based software, modelling and simulation technology and new communications systems could be used to develop intelligent transport systems.
It is seeking bids from academic and industry consortiums that are prepared to co-operate to tackle complex problems.
The call for expressions of interest says intelligent transport applications might require co-ordinated research into “location positioning, spectrum efficiency, antenna design, network security, user authentication, access authorisation, IT systems, geophysical modelling, regulatory policy, government policy and socio-economic impact”.
Transport minister Stephen Ladyman said, “Our vision for this initiative is to support highly innovative and wide-ranging research and technology demonstrator projects, combining the best UK expertise in industry, local authorities, transport service providers and universities.”