The UK Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), along with its partners – Civica and Applied Traffic, has won the Intelligent Transport Society (ITS) Technology Award for Excellence for their VIPER traffic intelligence solution.
The award was made at the recent ITS World Congress held in London’s Excel Conference Centre on 12 October and was presented by the former Transport Minister, Steven Norris.
A pilot scheme utilised Civica’s ANPR technology and TDC Systems’ HI-TRAC 100 High-Speed Weigh-In-Motion (HSWIM) technology. The in-road sensors were Class 1 BL piezo electric type, which TDC recommend and supply with the HI-TRAC system worldwide. The HI-TRAC was supplied by TDC UK distribution agents, Applied Traffic, and the system was installed and operated on a stretch of the M6 motorway near Birmingham. VOSA have claimed and can verify that they have achieved a 700% improvement in identifying and prohibiting overweight vehicles.
Mr Malcolm Jones, VOSA project engineer, says, “The accuracy far exceeded our expectations. We were initially hoping for around about ±10% difference but we found that in actual affect the results have been much better than ±5% and when you consider that the vehicles are usually travelling around about 56 miles per hour to get an accuracy of that has really astounded us.”
A joint programme by VOSA, the Highway Agency (HA), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), the pilot scheme operated between June 2004 and December 2005. The results were impressive, with over 95% of overweight vehicles identified and stopped leading to a prohibition being issued and the vehicle taken off the road.
The system is a unique innovative solution that is a combination of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) technologies that enables the automatic recording and detection of overloaded vehicles at the roadside.
Stephen Tetlow, VOSA’s chief executive, said, “Using this technology gives us the ability to target unsafe vehicles accurately and consistently, which not only improves road safety but also reduces the burden on law-abiding operators. Winning this award reflects the hard work of the VOSA team and our partners in introducing the new system.”