Faced with renewed traffic jams, nearly as many people are prepared to use a navigation app to choose their route. Surprisingly then, when selecting a route, environmental considerations are not a priority for the majority of drivers. Instead, almost two thirds of respondents want a route that guarantees the shortest travel time. These are some of the key findings of the “Kapsch TrafficCom Index” where 1,000 people have been surveyed by a market research institute in Australia.
The intelligent use of navigation devices offers opportunities to reduce road congestion and traffic jams. This technology could also help to achieve other desirable goals; for example, traffic planners could also factor in environmental impacts such as CO2 emissions in their route recommendations. The survey findings show that this would require a change in overall thinking though. At present, the majority of drivers in Australia consider the shortest travel time (64%), the most reliable travel time (60%) or the shortest distance (57%) to be “important” or “very important” when selecting a route. Only a minority – about a third of all respondents – consider routes with the lowest impact on the environment to be “important” or “very important”.
“Smart navigation networks are a key technology for fundamentally reducing traffic jams and pollution on roads,” says Soren Tellegen, Executive Vice President Asia-Pacific at Kapsch TrafficCom. “The desire of drivers to use navigation tools to minimise travel times should be utilised by public planners. Our aim in Australia is to put the city in control by providing stakeholders with situational awareness of what is happening now and next in the network. Environmental protection is one of these important targets we can track and make decisions from an operational level, that will improve our everyday life.”
In Melbourne for example, Kapsch TrafficCom has signed an MoU with the University of Melbourne. One such strategy in progress is the setup of a ‘Kapsch Intelligent Corridor’ to identify customer challenges and provide specific solutions.