The ITS Equant consortium, a project managed by Valerann and Excelerate Technologies and funded by the European Space Agency’s Space Solutions, is helping the UK’s Milton Keynes council monitor and manage the large volumes of traffic created by fans attending the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Football Championship (UEFA Women’s Euro 2022), as well as enhancing security.

The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 is taking place in the UK during July and is expected to have a record-breaking attendance of 525,000 visitors. Four of the event matches, including the semi-finals, will be hosted at the Milton Keynes (MK) Stadium.

The space technology will be used to enable local traffic authorities to efficiently manage local road traffic surrounding the MK Stadium for the duration of the tournament.

The ITS Equant solution uses Excelerate’s satellite communications (SATCOM)-enabled cameras and Valerann’s powerful AI-driven data fusion engine. SATCOM and AI technology overcome several challenges that currently exist for large events, including deploying additional terrestrial communications infrastructure and overburdening existing telecommunications capacity.

Large-scale planned special events, such as sporting games and concerts, attract significant numbers of pedestrians and passenger vehicles resulting in substantial nonrecurring road traffic congestion. Properly managing movement and anticipating and managing traffic bottlenecks in real time during these events is crucial for travel safety, efficient mobility, and CO2 emission reduction. Achieving this is restricted by the current telecommunication capacity and the prohibitive costs of deploying widespread terrestrial communication infrastructure on demand.

Brian Matthews, head of transport innovation at Milton Keynes Council, says: “This is really exciting, showing the way forward in managing our transport networks. We especially want to see how we can make our roads safer and to help manage congestion so that we see a positive difference in our local environment.”

Rita Rinaldo, head of the partner-led and thematic initiatives section at ESA Space Solutions, adds: “The solution proposed and implemented by Valerann is an excellent showcase of how integrated connectivity and data analytics can deliver innovation and help solving burning issues of municipalities and citizens. Increasing road safety, reducing congestion and CO2 emissions are challenges that are even more pressing on the occasion of events like the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. The success of Valerann Intelligent Transport System in this context is a promising step towards future green and smart mobility.”

Images: Adobe Stock.

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