How the digitisation of UVARs can help citizens and businesses?

An immense effort was made by the UVAR Box consortium to digitise data of urban vehicle access regulations (UVARs) of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Italy, over two years. These efforts were summarised in a final brochure, which was published last week in the framework of the project’s final conference. The 24-pages brochure is available here.

What if you drive into a foreign city, where a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is in place, but you overlooked the sign or cannot understand the information in the local language? Most likely, you will face a fine, or in the worst case, you might be towed away. A great solution would be a database of information on access restrictions to cities, that can be integrated into navigation systems, digital maps and smartphone applications.

This is what the UVAR Box project developed in two years of time. The result requires upscale and further improvements, but partners have made over 500 regulations available on the UVAR Box Tool. The number of existing UVARs, such as low-emission zones or limited traffic zones, strongly varies from country to country, but the rate of digitally available ones now corresponds to the project’s targets in each location.

Harmonising UVARs

The journey to achieve this result started with the information on the homepage from Sadler Consultants. It is showcased in the final brochure of the project, which shares its title: ‘Digitising & exchanging UVAR data across Europe’. The whole process and the efforts of the partners were presented to around 70 people during the final conference of UVAR Box, in POLIS offices and online, on 7 September 2022.

The harmonisation process of UVAR-related information continues with the follow-up project UVAR Exchange. It focuses on EU-wide coordination and standardisation of physical signs and variable message signs (VMS), as well as on the provision of information directly to a connected vehicle via Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS) messages.