News

16th Jul 2020

TTF report highlights the range of benefits connected vehicles deliver to travellers

The latest Transport Technology Forum report into the value of connected vehicles is highlighting how technology boosts productivity, increases safety, helps revitalise high streets and reduces real-world costs.

The State of the Connected Nation report summarises a range of Department for Transport funded C-ITS Pilot Projects which have already delivered benefits. These include smarter parking, using new data to address road maintenance, better ways to set traffic signals to reduce emissions and congestion, and providing better information and intelligence.

The projects took place across a wide range of local highway authorities, examining the use of emerging technologies and making use of public and private data. Projects addressed areas such as smart parking, asset management, opening up of data and signal phase and timing with the aim of trialling new solutions to the challenges faced by local authorities.

The report details a range of benefits such as cutting emissions and particulates by using technology to reduce stops at traffic signals by 14 per cent, improving the efficiency of traffic signal timings to cut delays by up to 30 per cent and using connected vehicles to measure road quality, leading to a five per cent cut in maintenance costs.

It also shows how smart parking solutions have improved the attractiveness of travelling to town centres while reducing congestion caused by people looking for a space, and how a national dataset has helped respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

“The question that most often springs to my mind when someone is singing the praises of some clever new technology is ‘so what?’,” writes TTF Chair Steve Gooding in his Foreword, “In what way, precisely, is this new invention going to help make the world a better place, are you sure it really works, and could anyone actually afford it? Happily, this report sets out to answer all of those questions… these are not the sort of multi-million-pound projects that tend to grab the headlines, rather they demonstrate that more modest budgets can deliver practical options for tackling real-world issues – including the ever-present challenge of cutting the cost of asset management.”

The report also highlights challenges that still exist, such as siloed data and a lack of resources and skills in local authorities faced with increasing pressures on the “day job”. It identifies the need for “seamless services between authorities across one nation [that] must capture more information on benefits to inform wider investment in future mobility” and proposes next steps that include moving from paper-based to digital traffic regulations, opening up data in many more towns and cities, and making the whole roads maintenance chain able to exploit data from vehicles.

You can read the report here.

6th Mar 2020

Now is the time for transport technology, conference hears

The Department for Transport’s Chief Scientific Adviser has told the TransportTechnology Forum that there has “never been a better time to be in Government from a transport and technology point of view.”

Opening the TTF Annual Conference in Bristol, Professor Phil Blythe (pictured) said investment in science is growing, but the ITS industry needs to provide good use cases and evidence to inform where we go next.

Prof Blyth believes we are on the cusp of a revolution with unprecedented rapid advancement of technology.  Vehicles, infrastructure, travellers and cities will be fully connected, he said, and urged everyone to gather data to help inform decisions.

“The word I would use, if it is a word, is de-siloisation,” he said.  “How we use data to make transport better.”  He asked for feedback to tell the DfT what more they can do to make things better.

Among the issues his team is studying are automation – and looking beyond the hype – plus cleaner transport and demand management.  Much work is going on to understand trends –  with fewer young people buying cars, what does that mean for PT and shared economy?

He added that he “cannot emphasise enough how big decarbonisation is”, explaining, “It’s important because transport is a sector which has not decarbonised well, thanks to a combination of more cars and heavier cars.  33 per cent of domestic emissions come from transport, and of that 86 per cent is from road transport.”

As well as electromobility, Prof Blythe explained to the 140-strong audience that hydrogen is coming up the agenda, especially for heavier vehicles.  Furthermore, the transition to net zero emissions can only happen through close cooperation between government and industry.  “Government will use all the levers it has at its disposal to make it happen,” he promised.

Rounding up, Prof Blyth underlined that his role is not just about delivery and regulation of services, but also creating a shop window for the industrial strategy.  “We put kit out there,” he said, “to help international sales.  Why would people elsewhere buy it if we don’t use it ourselves?”

And he added that there is a key political agenda to support so-called left-behind places.  “With better connectivity and larger radius of economic activity, people can improve their lives,” he said.

The Conference continued to talk about less-connected places with the DfT’s Deputy Director Anthony Ferguson pointing out that rural transport is very important to the new Government.  “Look at the places ministers represent,” he said.  “It doesn’t mean they don’t think about cities, but they are giving equal importance to addressing rural areas as well.”

Mr Ferguson added that money invested in transport technology pilot solutions is showing really good returns, but now we have to do them on a bigger scale.  “On a corridor by corridor basis is interesting,” he said, “But on a network level you see the benefits.”

He threw his weight behind the UK’s bid to host the 2024 ITS World Congress, saying it will be a “fantastic opportunity that sets a four-year agenda,” adding, “It gives us something to work towards.”

The conference also heard from the DfT’s ITS Lead Darren Capes who summarised the four pillars of his work – signal phase and timing, smarter asset management, opening up Local Authority data and smarter parking.

“We are building a connected vehicle data strategy,” he said.  “What data is out there that is useful and can form the basis of better-connected systems.  We are at the data gathering stage to help shape government policy – and we need industry to help us with that.”

From Local Authorities, Jackie Davies of Bristol City Council said the authority is interested in machine learning and AI, particularly in new methods of automated incident detection but that a lack of staff time to process data to inform new approaches to traffic management is a problem, and new methods of data processing are therefore also of interest.  Nige Williams of Transport for Greater Manchester flagged up open parking data in Manchester, creating a platform for data feeds from all parking operators.  He stressed the importance of standards and said in future they would bring in all Local Authority Traffic Regulation Orders regardless of data formats and present in unified format on platform without extra work for Authorities.

The Transport Technology Forum is supported by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK and the conference is sponsored by City Science, Dynniq, PTV, Aimsun, Vaisala and Waysphere.  It is organised and supported by Arup and backed by ITS (UK).

More outputs from the two days will be appearing here next week.

11th Jul 2019

TTF Forum 2

Our second Transport Technology Forum took place on 11 July 2019 in Leeds. At the meeting over 40 delegates from across local authorities and industry met to discuss current TTF projects and develop the TTFs future work plan of activities.

The event was introduced and chaired by Steve Gooding (Director, RAC Foundation), the forum heard from the TTF project team who outlined current work promoting skills, training and technology opportunities. The session then focussed on two activities; a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the current TTF and a second session focussed on the community’s opinions on the roles and research that TTF should (and shouldn’t) be conducting in the coming years. Both sessions provided valuable feedback and outputs which will now be worked into the TTFs action plan.

The event concluded with two spotlight sessions highlighting Smart Traffic Optimisation by Royal HaskoningDHV and risks of GPS interference and jamming on Critical Transport Infrastructure by Chronos Technology Ltd.

Presentations and outputs from the event can be downloaded here.

13th Jun 2019

Technical working groups

On Thursday 13 June we hosted the first technical working group sessions at The Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion FC, bringing together over 70 attendees from across local authorities and industry to focus on four themes; Signal Phase and Timing (SPAT), Smarter Parking, Connected Technologies and Data and Asset Management.

The event started with a plenary session chaired by Anthony Ferguson of the DfT outlining the goals of the TTF working groups to help develop guidance and support for those involved in the promotion and delivery of roads technology. The event then split into more focused working teams who identified their key actions and areas of interest moving forward, which the TTF will support. We are now collating the produced material and are in discussion with group leaders on the next steps. Thanks again to everyone who attended and helped make the event a success.

27th Mar 2019

Inaugural TTF Forum

The inaugural Transport Technology Forum took place on 25 March 2019 in London.

There was a great turnout to hear about the launch of the new TTF, as the Department for Transport’s Anthony Ferguson and Darren Capes, together with Steve Gooding (Director, RAC Foundation) outlined the form the TTF will take, the activities and projects to be undertaken, and the opportunities for those involved in the roads technology community to participate and get involved in shaping its future. A massive thanks to everyone who attended and made the event a real success! It was great to get your valuable input on the day and there were a lot of welcome comments and challenges generated from the discussion, which will help shape the vision and direction of the TTF.

The Forum also heard from Tim Gammons, Arup’s Intelligent Mobility Leader, on Arup’s role with the TTF, and Ella Taylor, from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), on the Future of Mobility Urban Strategy and the opportunities this presents for the TTF community to develop new transport solutions and services.

The TTF has recently been relaunched, as a DfT-funded resource to be provided by Arup as our contractor. This puts the TTF on a firm footing for the future and allows us to start to expand the role it can play in serving the roads technology sector, acting as a conduit between Government, public authorities, suppliers and consultants and supporting knowledge and experience sharing and learning.

More information on future events and activities will be released soon, so please sign up for notifications via the website, the TTF twitter feed, and TTF on LinkedIn.

UPDATE – Presentations from the event can now be downloaded here.

11th Mar 2019

Smarter Parking Webinar available online

The Transport Technology Forum and the British Parking Association (BPA) recently presented a knowledge sharing webinar on the ‘Future High Streets Fund’ and the opportunities that the smarter parking projects can bring to your community.

The webinar was supported by speakers from the Department for Transport and the BPA, as well as case studies from local authorities who have successfully delivered these smarter solutions and others who are looking to embrace technology to make life easier for those using our high streets.

To view the webinar on demand, follow this link: https://www.workcast.com/?cpak=2189736177796616&pak=9543491541799983

15th Feb 2019

TTF relaunch

The Transport Technology Forum (TTF), funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Arup, has been re-launched and we are pleased to announce the following events;

  • The inaugural Forum Meeting will be on 25th March 2019
  • The next TTF Conference will be on the 20th and 21st November 2019

The TTF exists to improve transport network management in the UK through innovative thinking, collaborative working and the adoption of new technology. The forum will deliver:

  • A platform for discussion, information-sharing and relationship building for those working in or interested in ITS, C-ITS and the roads technology sector
  • A community owned Action Plan for the development of guidance and support for the sector
  • The organisation of the annual TTF conference and other events (see more on our events page here).
  • Management of the DfT sponsored C-ITS Focus Groups
  • Links to other sectors including automotive, national research and funding bodies and government agencies and departments

The TTF is for all who have an interest in transport technology on the UK’s road network. For more information about TTF and its work, please get in touch.

28th October 2018

 

Transport Technology Conference 2018

The 2018 Transport Technology Forum Conference was held at the Core, part of the New City Campus of Newcastle University on the 16th and 17th of October and attracted over 140 delegates from across the UK and Europe to hear about the development of Connected ITS (C-ITS) in UK cities.

The event kicked off on the 16th October with a visit to the newly opened Newcastle Urban Traffic Control Room and Urban Observatory, both also located on the New City Campus development, to see preparations for commencing Green Light Optimised Speed Advice, or GLOSA trials in the City. This was followed by a drinks reception sponsored by Aimsun and IDT Ltd and an event sinner sponsored by Dynniq, attended by 50 representatives of government, local authorities, academia and industry.

On the 17th October a packed agenda included presentations on the DfT funded C-ITS Pilot Projects, a discussion on the future direction of the TTF, live demonstrations of the new ‘CAPITAL’ EU-wide C-ITS learning platform and the C-MoBile European City Pool initiative. A ‘Poster Session’ held in the morning featuring each of the 26 local authorities delivering DfT funded C-ITS projects allowed information sharing and networking and demonstrated the breadth of activity currently underway in the UK in this area. The CAPITAL demonstration provided an opportunity for delegates to try out the GDPR module of the recently launched learning platform as part of an interactive session and quiz. The day ended with a series of ‘Hot Topic’ presentations covering issues of interest to all, including GDPR and cyber security. One of the main outcomes of the event was the discussion, though a workshop session, of the Action Plan for the soon to be relaunched Transport Technology Forum.

The event provided an excellent platform to encourage active conversations and collaborative working between local authorities and those that are able to assist with the adoption of new technologies. It attracted over 140 delegates of which around 55 came from local authorities and same number from the private sector, with the rest coming from national government, academia and European organisations.

You can download the presentations from the conference here

And download the leaflets and agendas here.

The conference was sponsored by:

And organised by:

18th May 2018

TTF building on success

The Transport Technology Forum (TTF) has made a significant contribution in driving the debate to improve transport network management through innovative thinking, collaborative working and the adoption of new technology.

Building on the success of this important and exciting initiative, the Department for Transport (DfT) will be taking ownership of the TTF and engaging with the market to secure the necessary skills and expertise to take the forum forward.

We would like to thank you for your support, help and encouragement since the formation of the TTF.

Information on the future direction and activities of the TTF will be published shortly and available on the website at https://www.ttf.uk.net/ Alternatively you may contact darren.capes@ttf.uk.net

13th March 2018

Local Authorities: Barriers to procuring innovative transport technology solutions Consolidation Workshop

Representatives from Department for Transport, Innovate UK, Local Government Association, Atkins, York City Council and the TTF met in London on 7th March.

The purpose of workshop was to scope the level of guidance required for local authorities to progress technology and innovation for roads.

Andrew Payne on behalf the TTF presented the top-line findings from the recent comprehensive research survey undertaken amongst Local Authorities and their supply chain.

The top three barriers are identified as:

  • Complexity of partnerships and the need to drive a new way of working between Local Authorities, Highways England and private sector suppliers;
  • Lack of funding, how funding is derived and accounted for. There is a need to look at how to release resources in the pre-procurement phase to encourage and facilitate innovation and overcome in-built inertia; and
  • Risk averseness. The procurement process is heavily risk averse and tends to prescribe narrow tender requirements that limitation innovation and flexibility.

Reflecting on these findings, the delegates then mapped and prioritised for the sort, medium and long term the actions and activities required to delivery a step change in the way that innovation can be procured – including examining the procurement process itself.

Following this workshop, the final report will be compiled and submitted to DfT, the project sponsor, and then published via this website.

8th March 2018

Road Authorities’ Technology User Group

Attended by in excess of 100 delegates the “Road Authorities’ Technology User Group” took place at the historic National Railway Museum in York, on 5th March.

Organised by The Transport Technology Forum working with Department for Transport, the user group met to discuss smarter traffic management. Anthony Ferguson (DfT) made the Chairman’s introduction, highlighting progress from the 28th November meeting along with exciting plans for the future.

The interactive programme featured a session on quick fire hot topics including; Emissions, Traffic and Parking Standards, The A2/M2 Connected Vehicle Corridor, and a Milton Keynes case study on City Scale Sensors.

Other key items on the agenda included the DfT Discovery Project, The TTF Survey Results on Barriers to Procurement, Will UTMC Meet Future Local Authority Needs, and How to make the most of SCOOT and MOVA.

The day provided an excellent platform to encourage active conversations and collaborative working between local authorities and those that are able to assist with the adoption of new technologies, to help improve the transport management system.