A trial in Munich shows how drivers can be influenced to take alternative routes around congested areas, alleviating air pollution hotspots.
In an alternative approach to congestion charging, Siemens Mobility, ryd (a ThinxNet platform) and Hawa Dawa used real-time sensors to measure air pollution and analyse the data in order help reroute traffic.
Hawa Dawa provided pollution forecasts to Siemens Mobility’s Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Digital Lab in Munich, where data scientists and traffic management experts analysed the data together with anonymised trip data from smart car platform ryd to predict individual routes and suggest eco-friendly alternatives. The suggested ‘green’ routes were then provided to ryd users via an app before they started their journey.
Users were offered incentives to take the alternate routes by participating in a competition that ran throughout the four-week pilot. The most eco-friendly drivers received ryd points which could later be converted into items such as Amazon vouchers.
During the pilot, 35-40% of drivers were willing to contribute to reducing air pollution by rerouting.
Optimising traffic at an individual level can help to reduce overall air pollution within a city, Siemens Mobility pointed out.
Initial results for more than 1,600 drivers showed savings of 83kg of CO2 and 114g of NOx as well as a reduction in 633km driven. Scaled up to 20,000 drivers within a city, the savings would be equivalent to planting more than one acre of forested land.
“By shaping connected mobility, we can not only improve the efficiency of transportation, but also its impact on the environment,” commented Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “Our Intelligent Traffic Systems digital labs are at the forefront of data analytics and artificial intelligence in road transportation. We’re proud that we have proven these capabilities can be used to improve Munich’s air quality.”