Environmental Traffic Management: For cleaner air in our cities
Traffic around our cities is constantly increasing – and consequently so are air pollution and pollutant emissions, especially in urban regions. The numbers speak for themselves: particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and ground-level ozone are currently considered the pollutants that pollute our air the most and consequently endanger our health the most. Long-term or acute exposure in particular can lead to health problems of varying severity. For Europe alone, it is estimated that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air reduces life expectancy by about eight months. In addition, there are substances such as benzpyrene, which can be a health concern in high concentrations.
According to recent WHO figures, 99% of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline levels. The good news is that 6000 cities in 110 countries are now measuring air levels and want to take action. One area they are taking a closer look at is road traffic. After all, cars and other vehicles emit a large proportion of the emissions that pollute our air. What can cities do about it? For example, they can orchestrate traffic based on the needs of the environment. And that’s exactly what Environmental Traffic Management can do. Let’s take a closer look!
Smog as far as the eye can see.
Extreme examples are the air pollution in the mega-metropolises in Asia and India. High alarms are regularly sounded in these cities, and residents are urged to protect themselves by wearing masks. It can even lead to school closures and restrictions in industrial companies, because the pollution is too high for the people.
A solution is needed!
At Yunex Traffic, we constantly pursue the goal of using our digital and smart solutions to regulate traffic control in and around our cities in a way that sustainably reduces air pollution.
And this is what it looks like in practice!
Environmental Traffic Management is proven to reduce air pollution.
Through our intelligent traffic systems, we can influence the traffic situation and thus influence and reduce air pollution in our cities. One of these is our cloud-based solution, Environmental Traffic Management (ETM), which lets us target and optimize traffic flow. It is based on five main building blocks:
- Real-time traffic and environmental monitoring,
- detection of traffic anomalies,
- air pollution forecasting
- Interrelationships between traffic and air pollution.
By combining these building blocks, ETM allows to orchestrate traffic in a way that reduces travel time, individual fuel consumption, and thereby emissions.
The focus is not on choosing the optimal mode of transport – because even if the journey has already started, traffic management tools can help minimize the negative impacts of trips in the medium and short term. This means, among other things, a combination of efficient route navigation in real time, the resulting reduction in travel time, and at the same time a significant reduction in individual fuel consumption.
Tailor-made – for each individual scenario
Every city and its surrounding area are unique and have different geographical characteristics. And ETM’s solutions are just as unique.
According to the technological infrastructure and the available data resources, we model tailor-made solutions in just a few steps to meet the challenges in the cities or urban centers. ETMs measure pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, links weather data or traffic density and recognizes different types of traffic such as cars, bicycles or pedestrians. Road users receive recommendations on speed and road use via dynamic traffic signs – resulting in fewer traffic jams, smoother traffic, lower emissions and reduced pollution.
Study confirms reduction in pollutant emissions
ETM has already proven its effectiveness in reducing pollutant emissions through active traffic control. A study by the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) concluded that ETM systems are capable of reducing up to 22.4% of PM2.5 emissions, 7.1% of PM10 emissions, 17.3% of NO2 emissions, and 15.2% of CO2 emissions.
Wiesbaden as a model project
Our system for environmentally sensitive traffic management is an important approach to combat poor air quality in our cities. Although a downward trend in pollutant emissions is apparent due to stricter regulations, a significant portion of the population is still exposed to excessive pollutant concentrations that exceed the air quality standards set by the EU and World Health Organization (WHO).
Our project in Wiesbaden proves that things can be done differently. As part of the “Digitization of Traffic” (DIGI-V) project, the city is aiming to reduce its traffic-related nitrogen oxide emissions in all traffic areas. Thanks to artificial intelligence, data analytics, traffic flow simulation and the linking of traffic and environmental data, traffic can be managed in such a way that vehicles are less likely to be stuck in traffic jams, resulting in less combustion in engines and the emission of pollutants.
This project for improving air quality and reducing nitrogen oxides is funded by the BMVI with 15 million euros.