TEAM on the road: the Euro-EcoChallenge

Have you been late for a date in town and had no clue how to plan the trip effectively? Did you get lost on your way home due to unplanned events affecting city traffic? And the usual trip planners did not really provide a good solution? TEAM applications can help you to meet these and similar challenges. But first, it is up to them to take the challenge by Europe-wide tests.

A little recap: the TEAM project develops technologies that make travellers, drivers, public transport and road infrastructure work together and act as a TEAM. Goal is to develop the right systems which help everyone to take the best decisions for effective mobility and transport. Therefore, TEAM developed eleven applications that will help you to organise trips or that help a traffic manager to balance the traffic load in a city. These applications are tested and demonstrated during the Euro-EcoChallenge. TEAM shows there, how the apps solve mobility challenges like optimal routing, efficient transport, better parking availability, less congestion and more safety. The Euro-EcoChallenge is taking place in five different countries: Italy, Germany, Greece, Sweden and Finland. It started in October 2015 and will go on until May 2016.

Let’s have a closer look at one of the eleven TEAM applications and take an example: the CONAV application. CONAV stands for Collaborative eco-friendly navigation. The challenge here is to solve traffic jams while respecting citizen’s mobility and community needs. Obviously, there might be a specific best way from A to B for you – but others might have the same idea and then there are congestion, traffic jams and ultimately more air pollution. Consequently, this application includes algorithms that balance traffic load in a city by calculating aligned and personalised routing.

CONAV testing in Berlin

CONAV provides the interface to the user while he or she is driving and it makes turn-by-turn instructions. It monitors the user behaviour especially looking at his preferences and triggers new route calculations. This happens either in case he or she behaves differently from the instructions or if traffic conditions have changed.

The CONAV user interface
Different to today's navigation systems, this application provides route recommendations, which are optimised based on multiple needs like traffic load balancing, queuing at gas stations, balanced pollution levels, safety and more. CONAV will also consider real-time traffic information provided by the infrastructure.

A look in the trunk
The testing of the applications is a challenge itself. First, it requires extensive system reviews. It continues with extensive checks of the GPS system, followed by calculating lots of different routing requests. As you can see from the picture, the test cars are usually fully packed with technology that needs to be set-up, fine-tuned and re-arranged during testing.

And? Who benefits from CONAV? Through CONAV, a whole city can benefit from a better traffic flow and less pollution – especially at environmentally sensitive areas. Until then, obviously a lot of test steps are necessary: turn-by-turn instructions need to be reliable, exact timing and routing needs to be verified and the effects on the overall system need to be measured. Moreover, all this needs to be verified with real users. Therefore, the Euro-EcoChallenge also includes driving demonstrations with test users that were not in contact with TEAM technology so far. They fill-out questionnaires and give feedback about their driving experience.

As mentioned, all eleven applications are tested in different cities throughout Europe. More tests and challenges are about to come. Come back for more insights - the Euro-EcoChallenge continues!

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