Leeds to trial vehicle tech that switches to electric engines in polluted areas

Leeds City Council is to trial a smart technology in vehicles that triggers engines to switch to zero emission in heavily polluted areas. Cenex said a consortium of automotive innovators, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Leeds City Council is to trial a smart technology in vehicles that triggers engines to switch to zero emission in heavily polluted areas.

Cenex said a consortium of automotive innovators, co-ordinated by intelligent mobility experts, Transport Systems Catapult, will collaborate to capture real-time air quality readings to make the switch.

The project aims to offer cities new ways to reduce urban air pollution without additional charges to motorists or businesses.

Called ‘active geofencing”, the technology concept will be tested on a hybrid vehicle interface developed by Tevva Motors while transportation and network systems developer Dynniq will develop a “decision-making” engine capable of taking inputs from a range of city data, such as live air quality information and real-time traffic conditions.

EarthSense will be responsible for monitoring and uploading updated local air quality levels to the interface, which will be used to trigger on-demand zero emission running instructions in the participating Tevva vehicles.

Cenex and Transport Systems Catapult will explore the potential of using the technology more widely in the UK Clean Air Zones proposed by the government.

Steve Carroll, Head of Transport at Cenex 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.”

Last month the government announced plans to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040.