Leeds is to trial new technology which will trigger hybrid vehicles to switch to electric when running in heavily polluted areas.
The trial is being put together by Cenex, a not-for-profit consultancy on low carbon technology, and Leeds City Council.
It will work by using live air quality information which will feed into hybrid vehicles and automatically switch their engines to electric.
The organisations involved include Transport Systems Catapult, which will work on capturing the pollution readings, known as ‘active geofencing’. Transport network systems developer Dynniq will develop an engine that can input the data and EarthSense will work in the actual air monitoring.
Cenex head of transport Steve Carroll said: “Local air quality is a persistent and growing problem in urban centres across the UK and globally. Using real-time air quality data to automatically instruct vehicles driving into high pollution areas to switch to zero-emissions driving, has the potential to transform urban transportation regulation and save thousands of lives.”
“Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication has the promise to transform how cities manage urban traffic control and air quality regulation,” added Transport Systems Catapult principal technologist Paul Bate. “Project ACCRA is a pioneering collaboration to explore the potential of geo-fencing technology that equips vehicles to anticipate and respond accordingly when approaching or driving inside a city’s Clean Air Zones.”