Can fleet managers look forward to less congestion?

Drivers have a diverse range of opinions and perceptions, the sheer range of cars on Australia's roads is testament enough to this fact. However, if there's one thing they can all agree on, it's that there's nothing good about traffic jams. 

Nothing has the ability to ruin a morning commute or the trip home like congestion on the roads. Thankfully, some of the world's best and brightest have dedicated their efforts to the cause. 

Introducing "intelligent mobility"

While there are plenty of green cars on the horizon, there are larger concerns when it comes to reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Traffic congestion plays a huge part in this. By creating longer journeys, more emissions are released and more fuel is used. 

According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, intelligent mobility is a concept that seeks to align other efficiency initiatives to benefit as many people as possible.

"But even though most OEMs having dedicated teams for each major sector, such as vehicle automation, cooperative driving (v2x communication), mobility services or greener commuting, each of these teams works on their own solution to fight the problem, instead of reaping synergies," explained Senior Partner Sarwant Singh. 

The firm is also critical of approaches that encourage ride-sharing and car-pooling services, as while they dilute vehicle ownership, they don't actually reduce the amount of cars on the road. 

Instead, these need to work with other technologies such as collision detection to ensure roads are left flowing freely. 

"According to our latest research, the combination of efforts could result in a minimum of 15 percent to as much as 33 percent reduction in crash prevention through incident management and another ten percent by enhanced collision avoidance," said Mr Singh. 

What is the effect of congestion?

One of the main effects is to the work/life balance of employees who end up stuck in these jams as they lose valuable time that could be spent working or relaxing. GPS provider TomTom found that rush hour doubles the time taken to get anywhere, on average, with drastic implications for drivers. 

With evening rush hours doubling the congestion level around the world, consumers are adding up to 100 extra hours to their commuting time per year. 

It also a noticeable financial cost to the surrounding economy. As far back as 2006, the Victoria state government estimated that these costs could fall anywhere between $1.3 and $2.6 billion per year for Melbourne alone. 

Intelligent mobility should hopefully help to settle these concerns, reducing the costs of congestion to the motorist and the city they drive in.