Connecting road users and infrastructure in the cloud for increased safety on the ground
Traffic accidents, resulting from human factors, are the predominant cause of congestion in cities. This not only adds to the emission of greenhouse gases but increases travel time as well. Solving these challenges The TIMON project worked to address these different transport challenges. Leire Serrano, project coordinator, notes: “Our project partners believe that the persisting problems related to congestion, traffic safety and environmental challenges could be solved if people, vehicles, infrastructure and businesses were connected into a cooperative ecosystem.” For this reason, the project proposed a cloud-based system that consumes data from users (cars, pedestrians, cyclists), open and closed data, and V2X hybrid communications (cars, motorbikes, infrastructure). This system then processes this data using artificial intelligence and provides real-time and planning services to users through a smartphone app. V2X stands for vehicle-to-everything, a technology enabling vehicles to communicate and exchange data with their surroundings. Key services “The services delivered by TIMON can be classified as alerting services on road status and planning services for road users,” explains Serrano. The core objectives of these services are to identify transport open data sources of information and harmonise this data so that it can be used as real-time information for implementing the TIMON services in cities. Further, they aim to increase accuracy on the position of vehicles and vulnerable road users through cooperative positioning techniques. “The creation of a highly efficient data processing engine based on fuzzy-evolutionary techniques in artificial intelligence and the development of hybrid networks were also key objectives,” says Serrano. The goal is to empower drivers to deliver data to the platform by leveraging the information generated by their mobile phones, exponentially increasing the information available on traffic status. TIMON app and platform “The key result of the project has been the TIMON app and platform which is capable of delivering information services classified in alerts or planning services,” notes Serrano. The alerting services provide real-time alerts during the navigation of the different users and are delivered through the mobile app developed in the project. “These services are: collision alert, emergency vehicle approaching and road hazard warning,” she adds. The planning services on the other hand can be used in advance to plan a route or check the traffic status at a particular place or at some point in time. The main planning services are vehicle density awareness, dynamic route replanning for cyclists and dynamic route solutions applied to drivers. “The TIMON solution produces a cooperative ecosystem by connecting people, vehicles, infrastructure and businesses,” reports Serrano. Two pilot projects have been deployed with satisfactory results in Helmond in the Netherlands and Ljubljana in Slovenia. TIMON has achieved great success in the city of Ljubljana with 238 end users providing very useful feedback as well as being instrumental in fine-tuning the final system. TIMON’s future “Currently we are looking for opportunities to exploit the results. We are also studying the feasibility of scaling-up the TIMON solution to other EU cities,” states Serrano. In this process the minimum requirements for the system deployment have been defined, especially in terms of data sources needs and road infrastructure. Different contacts have been initiated with potential clients, especially in the domain of administration.
TIMON, vehicles, planning services, road users, congestion, cooperative ecosystem, traffic safety, V2X, alerting services, traffic status, road transport