A UK consortium is developing a new in-car navigation system to beat traffic jams. The 'Congestion Avoidance Dynamic Routing Engine' (CADRE) uses artificial intelligence to inform drivers of the best routes to take before they reach a jam -- 5 to 10 miles away from the congestion point. The system is able to interpret live traffic information shared between vehicles equipped with a special GPS device. This system should be available commercially by 2010. The researchers think that this system could be extended to ferries, trains and even planes allowing travelers 'to check different departure times to estimate the best time to travel.' I think they're going too far on this last point. A vast majority of people is much more concerned by a flight price than with its duration. But read more...
You can see above the modular components of the CADRE system architecture. The key modules are a road network database, a speed model, a routing engine, a snapping engine and a journey database (Credit: University of Portsmouth)
The CADRE project is part of a consortium, consisting of the University of Portsmouth, ComSine, Smartcom Software, the Transport Research Laboratory, ViaMichelin and Hampshire County Council. But the artificial intelligence component has been developed at the Institute of Industrial Research of the University of Portsmouth, managed by Dr David Brown. The CADRE research program is handled there by Dr Yang Wang, a research associate.
Here is a quote from David Brown. "'The system interprets live data from current traffic conditions so the motorist receives up-to-the-minute advice and can make an informed choice. It’s designed to take the pain out of that agonising decision about whether to try an alternative route which could be equally congested.' The system takes into account of how traffic speeds vary by day of the week and time of day and even on individual roads. It means that journey times are predicted more accurately and better routes are calculated that take account of the typical traffic conditions for the time of travel."
Of course, this system would be beneficial to our environment -- and our wallets. "'At present routing can be carried out for minimum time or distance, but this can easily be extended to other criteria such as minimum cost or minimum CO2 emissions,' said Dr Brown."
Now, let's look at the CADRE brochure (PDF format, 4 pages, 463 KB), from which the above diagram has been extracted.
Here is a quote from the "Intelligent Routing" section. "In CADRE’s routing engine, standard routing algorithms have been extended to take into account how traffic speeds vary by day of week and time of day on individual roads. This information is provided to the routing engine by the CADRE long term speed model to give better route calculations for your planned date and time of departure or arrival. At present, routing can be carried out for minimum time or distance, but this can easily be extended to other criteria such as minimum cost or minimum CO2 emissions."
And here is another excerpt suggesting alternative approaches to car trips. "This approach means that journey times are given more accurately and better routes are calculated that take account of the typical traffic conditions for your time of travel.You may find, for example, that the optimal route varies with the time of day, as traffic speeds vary across the network. Also, when planning a journey you can look at different departure times and see how this could affect your travel time. With the use of the short term model, if you are caught in congestion the routing engine can decide whether it pays to take an alternative route (which could be longer or on slower roads), or to sit and wait in the congested traffic."
Sources: University of Portsmouth News, July 2, 2008; and various websites
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