Leeds trials clean air zone ‘geofencing’ tech

A trial of ‘active geofencing’ technology which remotely triggers hybrid electric engines to switch to zero-emission running has been launched in Leeds.

Project ACCRA is a collaboration between Leeds City Council, consultancy and research firm Cenex, the Transport Systems Catapult, Earthsense, Dynniq and Tevva Motors Ltd. The partners want to establish whether geofencing could be used in clean air zones across the UK.

Real-time air quality readings will be used to test the technology concept on a hybrid vehicle interface developed by electric powertrain developer Tevva.

Transportation network systems developer Dynniq will develop a decision-making engine capable of taking inputs from a range of city data, such as live air quality information and real-time traffic conditions.

Air quality specialist EarthSense will be responsible for monitoring and uploading updated local air quality levels to the interface, which will be used to automatically instruct the participating Tevva vehicles to switch to zero-emission driving.

Cenex and the Transport Systems Catapult will evaluate the application, markets, business models and scalability of the system with a view to rolling out the technology more widely in Leeds and potential clean air zones across the country.

Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication like this could “transform how cities manage urban traffic control and air quality regulation” said Paul Bate, Principal Technologist at the Transport Systems Catapult.

Simon Notley, Technical Lead for Dynniq, described the project as “an exciting opportunity to create an entirely new solution to the problem of air pollution and demonstrate the huge potential for innovation that is being unlocked by modern Intelligent Transport Systems”.

“But most importantly it’s an opportunity to improve the quality of life of everyone living, working or travelling in cities around the world” Notley concluded.

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