Geofencing is a virtual geographical perimeter that helps create green zones where vehicles have their speed limited digitally and automatically switch to electric drive where appropriate. This technology is being trialled in Gothenburg as part of a more sustainable transport system.
Sweden’s City of Gothenburg aims to be a driving force in smart, digitalised transport. One of the city’s many interesting projects is the testing of geofencing on a bus line operated by electrical and hybrid vehicles. Within the geofenced zone, smart vehicles can be limited or controlled to some extent. For instance, the technology is used to limit speed and force buses to switch to electric drive at certain points. The goal is to develop solutions that increase traffic safety, reduce emissions and noise, and create better transport flows in urban environments.
Safer and fossil-free transport
Geofencing technology helps buses operate at a safe and fuel-efficient speed, and the automated switch to electric drive results in quieter, fossil-free public transport when and where it’s needed. The system also offers the possibility of banning specific vehicles in some areas, either entirely or at certain times, to increase safety, for instance for unprotected road users. The trials have already generated benefits, such as reduced stress for drivers, and lower emissions and speed, confirming geofencing as an important milestone on the road to sustainable transport.
The data that the buses use for geofencing is programmed into the vehicles. The next stage of the project will investigate the potential benefits of storing this data elsewhere, for instance using a cloud service, and downloading it to vehicles when they enter a specific area.
Partnership between science, industry and the city
Geofencing is one component of the extensive ElectriCity project (www.electricitygoteborg.se), an innovative partnership to create a more sustainable transport system. The project involves industry, science and society working together to develop and test solutions for electrified, digitalised and automated transport. In addition to quiet, emissions-free buses, the demonstration area comprises ferries and even heavy trucks that run on renewable electricity.