Survey: What a new start on the roads after the COVID-19 pandemic looks like...

29 April 2020

"Smart navigation networks are a key technology for fundamentally reducing traffic jams and pollution on roads," says Steve Parsons, Head of UK Sales Kapsch TrafficCom

1,000 UK citizens surveyed on road traffic behaviour and use of smart electronic navigation devices for Kapsch TrafficCom Index.

Traffic jams on UK roads are likely to return quickly after the Coronavirus crisis. 75% of UK citizens are concerned about the negative environmental impact this might have. Faced with such increased congestion, nearly as many 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 findings of the Kapsch TrafficCom Index, for which 1,000 citizens representative of the population have been surveyed by a market research institute in the UK.

The intelligent use of smart electronic 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 indicate that this would require a change in overall thinking, though: at present, the majority of drivers in the UK consider the shortest travel time (61%), the most reliable travel time (59%) or the shortest distance (53%) to be “important” or “very important” when selecting a route. And only 39% of the respondents consider routes with the lowest impact on the environment to be “important” or “very important”.

Smart navigation networks

"Smart navigation networks are a key technology for fundamentally reducing traffic jams and pollution on roads," says Steve Parsons, Head of UK Sales, Kapsch TrafficCom. "The desire of drivers to use navigation tools to minimise travel times should be utilised by public planners. The aim is to offer digital traffic management solutions that take important societal goals into account. Environmental protection is one of these important targets that will improve our everyday life."

Signal control systems in Madrid

Many drivers forget the environment when planning their route / Kapsch TrafficCom Index

For example, traffic light control systems, which automatically adapt to the current traffic situation, have already proven their effectiveness. Such signal control systems have been installed in the Spanish capital, Madrid, where they reduced traffic jams by about 20%. The volume of traffic jams will be reduced even more significantly if car data is linked to the traffic control network. At the same time, CO2 emissions will fall and the traffic flow can be distributed more evenly over the road network via route recommendations.

These existing examples suggest that the situation on UK roads does not necessarily have to remain at an unsatisfactory level. We have the tools to resolve the challenges and we can create a more sustainable path to a better future,” says Parsons

About the survey “Kapsch TrafficCom index”

The Kapsch TrafficCom index was conducted with the support of a professional market research institute. A total of 9,000 participants in 9 countries were questioned representative of each country´s population on their current traffic situation, road congestion and strategies to improve traffic management: USA (N=1,000), Argentina (N=1,000), Chile (N=1,000), UK (N=1,000), Germany (N=1,000), Austria (N=1,000), France (N=1,000), Spain (N=1,000), Australia (N=1,000).

About Kapsch TrafficCom

Kapsch TrafficCom is an internationally renowned provider of intelligent transportation systems, thanks to the many projects it has delivered in more than 50 countries around the globe.

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