If 10% of drivers used intelligent sat-nav technology, everyones journey times could be cut by 5%, according to the new Traffic Manifesto from sat-nav provider TomTom.
The company says that the most cost-effective way to cut congestion is not to build more roads or introduce congestion schemes, but to make the flow of traffic on existing roads more efficient.
In an effort to do this, it has today launched its Traffic Manifesto, which has four key action areas:
1. Encourage and inspire people to play a role in reducing congestion.
2. Increase the availability of TomTom HD Traffic.
3. Lead the continuous improvement of traffic and route guidance technology.
4. Bring together key traffic stakeholders to share ideas and drive key actions forward.
According to the company, drivers using its HD Traffic navigation system (which constantly monitors traffic with updates every two minutes and directs drivers along the least congested routes) are already seeing a 15% cut in journey times.
The company says: While we are a commercial entity with commercial goals, we believe that cars driving with an intelligent navigation system have the power to make a huge difference to society. It adds that, while cutting both congestion and journey times, they will also reduce stress and help the environment by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Eventually, it says, when 10% of drivers use the HD Traffic navigation system, there will be a collective effect, and everyones journey times will be cut by up to 5% where there is traffic.
The reason is that the informed drivers are not contributing to congestion because they take a detour, and that shortens the delay suffered by uninformed drivers who still travel on the congested roads. Whats more, the system becomes more accurate as more people use it.
To reach the figure of 10% usage, the company would need 20 times as many people to use HD Traffic as now. However, it believes that such a target is possible and has committed to undertake a consumer awareness campaign to persuade people of the benefits.
It will also give drivers incentives to upgrade to the HD Traffic system, as well as rewarding drivers who keep their connected devices switched on. In addition, it will work to expand the coverage of its systems to new countries, to more mobile platforms and built in to more new cars.
Harold Goddijn, TomToms CEO, said: Every driver can contribute to traffic reduction to some extent by using TomTom HD Traffic information to plan their journey around a time when their route is least congested.
We genuinely believe that TomTom has a role to play in helping to reduce congestion in countries all over the world, but we cant do it alone. TomTom is but one organisation in a large ecosystem of governments, institutions, businesses and individuals. We hope that by working together we will create better solutions, faster.