Oxfordshire is located on the North Sea Mediterranean TEN-T Corridor. It consists of the city of Oxford and four other boroughs and has approximately 683,200 residents. The Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) participating in FRONTIER installed a system for urban traffic management and control (UTMC https://utmc.uk/ ), the system that makes use of a common database to collate highway and transport related data from disparate systems within the council and beyond. This combination of data enables the OCC to manage the highway network in real time in an effort to meet its obligations under the UK Traffic Management Act of 2004.. FRONTIER will answer questions related to centralised, decentralised and hybrid traffic management approaches with the inclusion of CAVs.
More than 60 CCTV cameras are installed around the county road network, mainly in Oxford and major population centers. The cameras are used to observe traffic and optimize the use of the public road network. The images can be used to enhance strategic and real time models and simulations for traffic management. Additionally there are nearly 200 AI traffic sensors and real time ATCs Meanwhile, Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) developer StreetDrone is developing technology to accelerate the deployment of such vehicles, particularly in low speed, urban environments. Oxfordshire StreetDrone has tested open-source autonomous driving on the public road (at Smart Mobility Living Lab London) and in closed sites (through 5G CAL at Nissan Manufacturing UK’s Sunderland plant).
UKAEA RACE, part of the ‘TestBed UK’ autonomous vehicle testing infrastructure, provides vital facilities to trial and pilot the applications of CAV vehicles, within a controlled, or semi-controlled environment.
The Challenge Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is currently involved in different projects where CAVs are being operated and tested in controlled and open-road settings (e.g. the Endeavour, MultiCAV and OmniCAV UK government funded projects). StreetDrone is currently developing CAV technology for on-road trials and off-road trials.
There is currently a missing link between the traffic management & control system operated by local authorities, and the CAV operator. This will particularly affect market segments of interest for CAV technology developers (including StreetDrone), such as the urban last mile delivery of goods.
For CAVs to smoothly integrate within the mobility mix, and existing transport infrastructure, careful consideration is required to develop future traffic management systems to allow 2-way communications, between CAVS and network managers via traffic management systems. Successful development of such systems will smooth the wider deployment of CAVs, particularly when considering mixed CAV-human driven fleets.
Particular challenges in this “link” arise on the following themes: changes in operating between manual and automated modes, initiated by changes in ODD; minimum risk manoeuvres; management of CAVs at complex junctions, and using external inputs to CAVs to control traffic flow (e.g. variable speed limits), all of which will be examined by the Oxfordshire pilot.
The FRONTIER’s Innovation
FRONTIER aims to bridge the existing gap by:
- Integrate CAVs with a future traffic management system, utilising existing infrastructure solutions (smart signage, V2X) to affect the operation of the CAV vehicles. . The developed solution will be trialled at UKAEA RACE and will address various information exchange scenarios, under different operating conditions (i.e. informing safety drivers of changes in environment, enabling communication of mode between vehicles via traffic management,) and for supporting different applications (i.e.,managing CAV vehicles at complex junctions, managing traffic flow using CAVs)
- Output learnings that will influence future traffic management best practices concerning integration of CAV technologies and Smart Infrastructure.
The following outputs are envisaged to be achieved:
- Demonstration of a potential to orchestrate CAVs using communications systems linked to traffic management systems, consolidating an overall autonomous vehicle product, culminating in vehicle trials at UKAEA RACE, with dissemination of key learnings.
- A review of key factors affecting CAV-to-traffic management interfaces, including cybersecurity considerations.
- To step change the communication between vehicles and local authority-led Traffic Management to becoming more digital (right now it is aimed to the manual driver), measurable in its effects and appropriate by Operational Design Domain
- To strengthen international collaborations and foster a unified approach between partners to a future network management to optimize the way people and goods move in cities and regions.
CAV, Automated, Autonomous, Open-Source, Traffic Management, V2X (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure)