Advances in car navigation

Researchers are developing a new in-car navigation system which informs motorists about traffic jams and advises on the best route for their journey before they reach the congestion.



The Congestion Avoidance Dynamic Routing Engine (CADRE) uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interpret live traffic information shared between vehicles fitted with a special GPS.



The research is being conducted by a consortium, which includes PortsmouthUniversity, ComSine, Smartcom Software, the Transport Research Laboratory, ViaMichelin and Hampshire County Council.



CADRE can sense traffic slowing down and building up into jams and works by monitoring other vehicles on the road, informing motorists 5 to 10 miles away of a situation and recommending steps to avoid it. The AI software is built around ‘fuzzy logic’ that mimics human reasoning.



PortsmouthUniversity’s Institute of Industrial Research’s Dr David Brown said: ‘It’s designed to take the pain out of that agonising decision about whether to try an alternative route which could be equally congested.



‘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.’



Over 2,100 journeys were made in Hampshire, including routes on the M27, M3, A3 and the M25, to provide data for analysis. Additional speed data came from the Highways Agency which provided the background knowledge needed within the AI system.



TRL spokesmen Richard Walker said: ‘The transport system in the UK is one of the key drivers of the economy and with more and more cars on the roads; a system like CADRE would be a valuable tool in keeping traffic moving.’



The project was sponsored by the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) as part of its role in the government’s Innovation Platform in Intelligent Transport Systems. It is estimated CADRE will be in the shops in 18 months.