Technology developed by the University of Leicester is to play a vital part in a new million-euro transport project of the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation programme of the European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance.
SATURN (SATellite applications for URbaN mobility) project, coordinated by the Aerospace Valley in France, is a large-scale demonstrator of innovative solutions for better mobility, less congestion, more safety and security.
The University will build and demonstrate a new application for use in lorry cabins to provide directions to HGV drivers on preferred and safe routes in urban areas that minimise congestion, noise and air pollution for residents as well as drivers.
The application draws on data from space navigation satellites and geographical information systems and will be made available on a range of portable devices.
The results of large-scale demonstrations will be presented in Bordeaux, during the 2015 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.
SATURN has the ambition to set up a regional geo-information platform bringing together Earth observation images and other sources of data to foster the emergence of new services for the mobility of citizens.
Professor Paul Monks, from the University of Leicester, said: "Intelligent solutions for managing HGVs as part of our logistical infrastructure in urban areas are essential. Bringing space into the picture could change the game for both hauliers and urban dwellers in routing lorries more efficiently. This is a great opportunity to work on a real-life demonstrator of this technology."
The two programmes recently awarded to the University of Leicester: EMBRACE (East Midlands Business and Research satellite Applications Centre of Excellence) and EM-IMP (East Midlands Intelligent Mobility Partnership) welcome the pre-trial demonstration of satellite applications to drive jobs and growth in the transport sector of the East Midlands.
Emeritus Professor Alan Wells, from the University of Leicester, said: "This success with SATURN is a direct result of our leading roles in two previous major EC-funded initiatives: DORIS_Net, a European network of Regional Contact Offices (RCOs) fostering the new uses of Earth Observation data from space in the regions, and THE ISSUE, FP7 Regions of Knowledge action, focussing on the areas of Traffic, Health and Environment to achieve Intelligent Solutions for Sustaining Urban Economies, and the support given to these projects from NEREUS, Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies, which the East Midlands is a founder member."
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