Truck drivers around Leicaster could soon turn to a hands-free app to guide them through the city while choosing the most efficient and convenient route.
Using existing mobile phone freeware Google Earth, the app developed by the University of Leicester and funded jointly by the Leicester city council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to cut traffic jams caused by heavy goods vehicles (HGV).
Researchers working on the G-STEP project used several map layers allowing the users to select specifications of their vehicles based on weight, height or width. They are then automatically redirected to such roads that guarantee their smooth and quick passage.
“Regulating HGV routes with this application also reduces air pollution, which is sky-high in Leicester with annual levels of nitrogen oxide exceeding EU-regulated levels in five out of nine monitoring sites across Leicester city,” said Philip Smith, who is developing the map layers for the application.
Using GIS and GMES technologies, the maps deliver up-to-date, reliable data of approved routes for HGV movement in and around the City of Leicester.
“The application will cut down congestion, which presently costs East Midlands businesses somewhere in the region of £795m a year. Eliminating these problems will also solve societal problems along with the congested routes, so the application will have a profound impact,” Smith said.
The initiative has already spawned interest of other city councils and the developers might soon be putting together similar applications for other municipalities.
”The G-STEP project can help businesses save time and money, reducing congestion whilst improving air quality. A win-win situation,” Gary Scott of Leicester City Council commented.