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Autonomous car valet service could cut congestion

Future connected and autonomous vehicle technology could significantly reduce road congestion by notifying drivers of available parking spaces.

Connected car technology has been displayed by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) on public roads and car parks in Milton Keynes

Connected car technology has been displayed by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) on public roads and car parks in Milton Keynes

Held as part of the UK Autodrive project, connected car technology has been displayed by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) on public roads and car parks in Milton Keynes. The technology enables cars to communicate with each other to notify drivers of available parking spaces – without the need for any additional parking bay sensors. Upon entering the car park, the cars get an updated heat map showing availability, while real-time updates from other connected cars show spaces filling and becoming vacant.

Jaguar Land Rover have also separately showcased its latest self-driving vehicle technology which enables vehicles to autonomously itself to an available car park bay before parking itself.

According to research, up to 30% of that traffic consists of vehicles looking for parking spaces.

As well as demonstrating potential future parking solutions, the three car manufacturers also carried out their first public road trials of two connected car safety features.

The first involved an Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) system, which alerts drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching and also indicates which direction it is coming from.

The second trial demonstrated an Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EEBL) feature which gives a warning when another connected car further up the road brakes heavily – potentially giving drivers several additional seconds to avoid a possible collision.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.