Oxford based Ben Ward has won a national competition aimed at helping to realise the benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). Ben’s innovative idea featured the use of generic path computation and the Internet of Things (IoT) to orchestrate how autonomous vehicles decide on the routes they take – avoiding vehicles choosing the same route at the same time and causing congestion.
The contest was jointly initiated by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and asked entrants to think of technological product ideas in areas such as services, security, data, and urban planning for a near future when CAVs become ubiquitous.
Ben is the Director of Love Hz, a consultancy specialising in IoT and wireless technology in Oxford. Commenting on his win, Ben said, “I’m very excited about winning this competition. What I love is that networks, traffic and topologies actually affect both road and telecoms networks and although telecoms use the terms as metaphors the underpinning concepts still hold.
With IoT, everyday objects become equipped with intelligence. How can we ensure they don’t fight over resources like humans do? Do CAVs offer a way to reduce the effects of human nature on road capacity and travel habits? I hope my idea can contribute to answering some of these questions.”
TSC Chief Technology Officer Paul Zanelli commented:
“Ben’s entry was very well thought out and highlighted one of the many areas which need to be addressed before this exciting technology becomes accessible to the public. We had a number of fantastic entries but Ben’s idea is one I could really see becoming an integral part of the autonomous future. These vehicles are coming sooner than people think and it is important we start considering the challenges now to ensure we gain the full benefits.”
Launched last November, the challenge ran on the IMExchange platform which is a Q&A community for transportation professionals to exchange knowledge and expertise. It is a joint venture between the TSC and Zyncd. If you’d like to join the discussion visit www.IMExchange.co.uk.