COMPANY: Atkins Jacobs Joint Venture
PROJECT: Roadside Vehicle Noise Measurement
SPONSOR: Mason UK Ltd
This project was commissioned to research if there are reliable and robust ways of ascertaining noise emissions from an individual vehicle at the roadside which could then be used for enforcement purposes. The research included a technology trial on live carriageways of a prototype system developed for the project by acousticians that could potentially be used to identify and detect excessively noisy vehicles.
A noise camera was developed and tested to establish whether it was capable of identifying and detecting an individual vehicle whose noise level was above a pre-determined noise limit. This would help the client to determine whether noise camera technologies should be pursued in the future as a potential enforcement measure without subjecting them to onerous technology development costs.
Throughout the project lifecycle, the project team demonstrated that they recognised best practice and built on this to create a new acoustic technology and test it appropriately. Collaboration between all parties throughout the project led to a successful outcome for client, meeting their time and budgetary pressures while attracting significant positive media and political interest from this proactive and innovative approach to tackling a source of noise pollution. It is a positive acoustics story, having successfully identified a potential solution capable of reducing a source of noise pollution. It has sparked interest in the issue from the acoustics industry, local authorities and people affected by excessively noisy vehicles in the UK and Europe.
Innovation in the bespoke use of a noise camera for an unusual task helped this project stand out. The judges noted that much of the work is research and the project is still at the concept stage with trials yet to come. In due course it will be interesting to see the method being trialled on location. The project set a high bar in terms of aims and addresses a need arising from legislative requirements. The judges hope that any further work would look at other characteristics of noise using, for example, psychoacoustics which would take this project to another level.