The ICT Emissions project aims to develop a new methodology to assess the impact of the ICT measures on mobility, energy consumption and CO2 emissions of vehicle fleets in urban areas.
The methodology will be validated on existing ICT applications in the cities of Turin, Madrid and Rome, and the project will produce a database on the impact of ICT measures on traffic, energy consumption and emissions, as well as "recommendations" and guidelines for the implementation of best practices on ICT measures that can lead energy and CO2 reductions in road transport.
Since 2012, Roma Servizi per la Mobilità has taken part in a project of technological experimentation lasting three years. The project, called "ICT Emissions", was initiated as a result of a contract sponsored by the EU which has asked a number of prestigious companies of the transport and automotive area to show the impact and the real contribution that ICTs bring to the reduction of CO2 emissions in transport, in an effort to raise awareness about the topic.
The analysis and study of ICT is only one of the challenges within the four main areas that make up the more complex FP7 - Framework Programme (Seventh Framework Programme), through which the European Union promotes scientific excellence and technological development.
The consortium of companies that have joined the project presented to the European Community all the topics it has pursued to achieve the objectives.
What is ICT? In which sectors and how are used today?
The acronym ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology and identifies the full range of Intelligent Systems Technology used today in most areas, for the collection and processing of information. Created to manage the problems caused by traffic congestion, ICTs represent the perfect synergy between modern computing and communication networks.
Today these technologies are mainly used in the planning, design and management of transport systems. ICT are therefore used to support transportation-related engineering to improve driving safety, personal safety, security and protection of vehicles and goods. The function of the application of Intelligent Technologies is also to optimize the use of natural resources in order to reduce the ecological impact on the territory while respecting the environment.
For the pursuit of these objectives, the knowledge and tools of transport systems engineering need to be combined with procedures, systems and devices suited to enabling the collection, analysis and distribution of information and data between people, vehicles and goods in movement, and between them and the infrastructure. And it is precisely this aspect that the European Commission wants to stress: to test the different ICTs that today are being applied to road transport and to verify their actual effectiveness in terms of reducing emissions.
The objectives of the project
For some time now it has been found that the higher the traffic and the lower the use of transport infrastructure with the consequent increase in travel time, pollution and fuel consumption. With the ICTs, the aim is to manage traffic flows and infrastructure in order to reduce transportation times, fuel consumption and emissions. The objectives of the project are to identify what are the ICT measures that more effectively bring about benefits to the environment and, jointly, what are the impacts of ICT measures on traffic emissions.
The project specified the following categories of study,inside of which the ICT systems are grouped:
1. traffic management and control systems;
2. controlled access systems;
3. navigation and traffic information systems;
5. advanced driving support systems;
6. accident prevention systems.
The Agency is studying the impact of ICT systems that fall under the theme relating to traffic management and control systems, analyzing in particular the impact of traffic lights controlled by a central coordination system.
Among the partners that have joined the project - advancing ideas and offering case studies - there are european research institutes, academies, universities, leading companies in the automotive and transport sector and so on. In addition to Roma Servizi per la Mobilità, the project has seen the participation of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), AVL List GmbH, Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik GmbH, the Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM), Tecnologie Telematiche Trasporti Traffico Torino srl (5T), Polis, IVECO, Madrid-Calle 30, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Istituto per l'Ambiente e Trasporti (IET).
The traffic light system: the regulation of traffic in the city
Within the six categories of the study, the Agency has studied the issue of "traffic management and control systems", going on to study the effect of ICT technologies on emissions. ICT used for the control and coordination of traffic junctions of the main routes to Rome are in fact regulated by the Traffic Control Systems Centreof the Agency, which manages the 1,372 traffic lights of the capital.
Traffic lights controlling modes should be of different types and depend on the intersection and the urban context in which each one is is located.
Among the Isolated Intersections, the traffic light control can be of different types:
manual: the duration of the cycle and of the green liight are determined manually on the basis of local observations of traffic behavior
with fixed times: there is a predetermined cycle length and green duration that are constant over time
activated: phase sequence, cycle time and green times are determined as a function of pedestrian and traffic flow
semi - activated: the order is predetermined but may be varied due to the effect of signals produced by devices activated by vehicles or pedestrians (pedestrian buttons, traffic detectors etc.)
plan selector: a fixed time which uses several traffic light cycles with different parameters. The selection can be done manually, according to fixed hours, or as a function of the traffic
plan creation: timing, duration of the cycle and green times are automatically determined on the basis of traffic characteristics.
In case of Interdependent Intersections, control must take into account the mutual interactions between intersections. In this type of intersection the attempt is to reduce vehicles' travel times through an appropriate phasing of the beginning of green light for the different traffic lights involved, trying to maximize the length of the green wave, i.e. the period of time (within the duration of the green lights), during which a user can traverse the route without encountering a red light.
The types of control are:
coordinated according to a plan selector: with fixed times, this provides for the selection between multiple traffic light coordination plans. The selection of coordination plans can be done manually, according to an hourly schedule, or as a function of the traffic
coordinated according to a plan creation: duration of the normal cycle, green times and the phasing of the lights are automatically determined on the basis of the traffic flow.
The construction of the model of the intersection is done through a succession that is both logical and applicative of the design methodology. It starts with the acquisition of the geometrical and traffic data needed to set the objectives and constraints that identify the scope of the problem. It then moves to the identification of options for action with its formulation of a hypothesis of organization in phases of maneuvers to be taken. It continues with the project flows and the saturation flows, necessary to determine the parameters of the delay model, and concludes with the calculation of the optimal cycle solution and the distribution of green lights after a careful comparison of the best options for intervention.
For more information : www.ecostand-project.eu