Coventry City Council launches mobile phone app to alert drivers about traffic congestion

A new mobile phone app aims to improve traffic flow in Coventry by providing drivers with live information about travel hotspots.

The Intelligent Variable Message System (iVMS) is designed to allow motorists to plan their travel along three main roads into Coventry from the M6 — the A46 Binley Road, the A444 and the A4600 Walsgrave Road. The app is linked to a cloud-based urban traffic management and control portal, Stratos, developed by Siemens.

The developers hope that the information available through the app will allow drivers to better plan their journey, to avoid congestion or major events taking place in the city and to improve their journey time reliability.

Users can plan their journey in advance and there is an incentive for drivers to complete the set journey away from congested routes through a ‘gamification’ element which provides a reward of free car-parking. Winners will be drawn at random by the app.

The iVMS project is expected to help reduce traffic congestion at peak times, meaning a reduction in delays, queues and pollution, while also encouraging other developers of vehicle technology and transport systems to test their research in the city.

Coventry City Council is leading the project, working with Siemens, HORIBA MIRA, Serious Games International and Coventry University’s Centre for Mobility and Transport and its Centre for Business in Society. The project has received £2.5m of funding from the UK Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Jonathan Browning, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said that the project would benefit motorists and network operators by reducing peak traffic congestion.

He explained: “Improving traffic flow into Coventry City Centre in the usual busy commuting times would be beneficial particularly if there has been an accident on the M6 and alternative routes become blocked with traffic.

“This is real cutting-edge technology being used to help drivers plan a stress-free route by providing them with up-to-date information to make informed choices as well as developing the city’s traffic management system.

“This kind of innovative research is fundamental to future integrated transport projects and will further enhance our area’s reputation in this field.”

A three-month trial of the system was launched on Tuesday, 28 November.

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