Potential for traffic management to reduce pollution hotspots shown in Munich pilot

Hawa Dawa, in collaboration with Siemens Mobility and ryd, have demonstrated the effectiveness of an eco-routing pilot launched at the end of 2018.

Hawa Dawa, in collaboration with Siemens Mobility and ryd, have demonstrated the effectiveness of an eco-routing pilot launched at the end of 2018. The four-week pilot project “Clean Air in Munich” (SLIM) tested whether data-based route recommendations based on predicted pollution levels have an influence on the route choice of Munich drivers. 40 percent of drivers in the study selected the eco-sensitive routes recommended ahead of their journey, with many choosing to take the recommended (rather than their usual) route multiple times. Although a simple points-based incentive scheme was introduced for participating drivers in this initial phase, the overall findings of this short pilot hint at the potential for a larger-scale project of this sort to influence the build-up of pollution hotspots and optimize traffic flows across urban hubs. Another positive side effect of the project was that over 600km of distance was saved because the recommended routes were shorter than the standard routes. In this way, around 85 kg of CO2 and 115 g of NOx equivalent could be saved. The reduction of each driver’s ecological footprint invites the project to be scaled up over a longer period of time and to study the change in air quality across the city. The overall results of the pilot project suggest that eco-routing has real potential to avoid pollution hotspots and optimise traffic flow through urban junctions from an environmental point of view. Hawa Dawa’s 24-hour forecasts of NO2 concentrations throughout Munich formed the basis for Siemens’ routing algorithm, which generated route recommendations for the test group supervised by ryd. Using anonymised historical travel data, the most frequently travelled routes were identified and a more environmentally friendly (and in many cases shorter) route was determined using Hawa Dawa pollution predictions. Drivers were given an indication of the “green” route they could choose voluntarily before the journey. “We believe that eco-routing at the individual level offers a very high potential to combat the high – traffic-related – air pollution in cities. The pilot project shows how even in a short period of time personal behaviours can change through higher transparency. This points to a huge untapped potential in testing and adapting eco-sensitive routing alongside other smart mobility options. Hawa Dawa’s contribution to air quality monitoring, forecasting and modelling is an important first step in designing policies to combat air pollution,” says Karim Tarraf, CEO of Hawa Dawa The implications of the pilot’s findings are significant – especially for cities fined for breaching EU limits for particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Munich as a test environment has implications: the city has the second highest NO2 levels in Germany (after Stuttgart) and consistently reports the highest traffic volume and congestion in the country. Implemented on a larger scale – assuming that a host city can implement wide-ranging diversion measures – eco-routing and environmentally sensitive traffic management can play a key role in preventing pollution hotspots and reducing pollution levels. Urban measures for environmentally sensitive traffic control, such as dynamic speed limits and traffic flow distribution, can serve as an extension. The project partners Hawa Dawa, ryd and Siemens Mobility intend to expand the results of the pilot into an extended showcase project with potentially high dividends. For this purpose, a host city is sought that is willing to invest in smart infrastructure and new connected mobility measures to alleviate the problem of traffic-related air pollution. Based on the initial positive project results, a larger-scale modal shift can be investigated in a next step. “By shaping connected mobility, we can not only improve the efficiency of transportation, but also its impact on the environment. Our digital lab is at the forefront of data analytics and artificial intelligence in road transportation and we’re proud that we have proven these capabilities can be used to improve Munich’s air quality” Michael Peter, CEO Siemens Mobility. Read more about the pilot here: https://www.hawadawa.com/siemens-ryd-hawadawa_environmentalpoc/ Press release from Siemens ITS: Siemens Press Release_SLIM Press release from ryd: ryd Press Release_SLIM Read more: ryd magazine

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