January's top stories: Siemens wins Tfl contract, Audi tests self-driving car

The UK's Transport for London (Tfl) has awarded Siemens a five-year detection and enforcement infrastructure (D&EI) contract and Audi carried out self-driving concept car tests from Silicon Valley, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, US. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from January 2015.


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Jaguar Land Rover to develop new technology to alert drivers on potential road hazards

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover revealed its development of a range of new technologies to alert drivers to potential hazards and prevent accidents that involve bicycles and motorbikes.

In the event of another approaching road user, the new 'Bike Sense' technology will alert sensors on the car to detect and identify it as a bicycle or motorbike, making the driver aware of the danger.

According to the company, the technology would use colours, sounds and touch inside the car that the driver will instinctively associate with the possible hazard.

German consortium enhances traffic data system in Hanover

A new project to enhance the broadcasting of real-time traffic data around Hanover was successfully completed by Germany's Lower Saxony consortium (ECODyNIS).

According to Radiomagonline, the Digital Audio Broadcasting + (DAB+) technology used as part of the project reportedly delivered faster data rates.

The process begins by detecting traffic information around the Hanover area and further automatically converting them to the TPEG format.

Audi tests self-driving car on US roads

Audi Self Driving Car

Automobile manufacturer Audi is set to conduct a 550-mile test drive of the Audi A7 piloted driving concept car from Silicon Valley, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

Audi board member and head of technical development Dr Ulrich Hackenberg said: "The test drive from the west coast of California to Las Vegas demonstrates our leadership role in piloted driving."

According to the German company, the test drive beginning in Stanford, California, in real-world traffic and road conditions, represents a joint effort by the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) und Volkswagen Group Research and Development.

US FMCSA announces state grants to strengthen vehicle safety

The US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced $30m worth of state grants through two annual programmes.

The programmes, including Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) and Performance Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) have been designed to bolster commercial vehicle safety.

Up to $25m will be awarded through CVISN to improve technological capability and promote the deployment of intelligent transportation systems applications for commercial vehicle operations and $5m will be awarded through PRISM to integrate state commercial motor vehicle (CMV) registration and licensing systems nationally.

BGU researchers recommend deployment of speed camera on Israel roads

Israel Road

A report submitted by a team of BGU researchers to the Israel National Road Safety Authority (RSA) recommended the deployment of speed camera over the country's entire non-urban road network.

The recommendation was based upon the substantial impact of speed cameras on actual driving speeds, as well as on the connection between speed and safety consequences that has been established in studies globally.

Four years ago, the RSA commissioned Professor Hillel Bar-Gera, Professor Edna Schechtman, Dr Amir Grinstein and Dr Oren Musicant to assess the system after electronic enforcement systems began to be installed on non-urban roads.

Sensys wins traffic safety systems order in Qatar

Global traffic safety solutions supplier Sensys Traffic secured its first order for traffic safety systems from a customer in Qatar.

The Middle East is now said to be the company's second largest market and the latest order from Qatar means it currently has customers in eight of the region's 14 countries.

Sensys CEO Johan Frilund said: "The order represents a breakthrough in Qatar and is proof that our solutions are competitive."

UK's Highways Agency unveils Dartford Crossing safety system

Dartford Crossing

The UK's Highways Agency (HA) revealed details of Dart Change, a new safety system that will help to maintain safe operations at the Dartford Crossing.

The new system is said to have been tested over the last six months at a disused airfield using vehicles from a local haulage company.

It uses various detectors to identify the vehicles, signs to encourage drivers to get into the correct lane in good time, and barriers and traffic signals to control them with the help of lanes at the side of the main carriageway.

Google holds talks with automakers to launch self-driving cars on roads by 2020

Google

Google is holding talks with various automakers in a bid to speed up its plans to bring self-driving cars to market by 2020.

Google self-driving car project director Chris Urmson told Reuters: "We'd be remiss not to talk to the biggest auto manufacturers. They've got a lot to offer."

General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Daimler and Volkswagen are the automakers with which the company is in discussions.

Siemens wins Transport for London's D&EI contract

Siemens

The UK's Transport for London (TfL) selected Siemens to upgrade and operate the detection and enforcement infrastructure (D&EI) under a five-year contract.

The contract will also include the supply of equipment, systems and services for monitoring the capital's traffic as part of TfL's low emission zone (LEZ) and congestion charging schemes.

The agreement will begin in January 2015 with the implementation phase and includes the replacement, support, maintenance and operation of instation systems and services, including business continuity services for both LEZ and the congestion charging schemes.

Work begins on Princes Highway's Foxground and Berry bypass in Australia

Prices Highway

Australia's New South Wales Government announced that construction work on the A$580m ($462m) Princes Highway's Foxground and Berry bypass has begun.

Set to improve road safety, the project is said to be an upgrade to the 11.6km stretch of four-lane highway between Toolijooa Road and Schofields Lane on the Princes Highway.

As part of the upgrade, a bypass will be created of the existing winding highway at Foxground and a bypass of Berry with access ramps at the north and south of the town.