'If the tests are successful then the traffic information system for motorists will be transformed,' Mr Law said. 'It will be a landmark, too, in the assembly's integrated transport strategy.
'This system will enable travellers - whether at home, in the car or in the office - to call up information from the internet on a mobile terminal and decide quickly whether bus, train or private vehicle is the best way to make a journey at that particular time. By providing information speedily it will also enable commercial drivers to make the best use of the road network.'
The two-year project aims at linking intelligent transport systems (ITS) with the latest mobile phone technology by using the worldwide wireless application protocol (WAP). 'ITSWAP', as it will be known, will operate from the National Assembly's road traffic control centre - Mantais Cymru - at Newport. Similar trials will be taking place at sites in Sweden, France and Italy.
The Ian Catling Consultancy will be responsible for co-ordination of the project, with the transport research group of the University of Southampton providing the evaluation skills.
ITIS Ltd will provide data processing and end-user services using equipment provided by Orange PCS Ltd. BMW will provide demonstration vehicles and in-car units for the UK site. Overall project co-ordination will be undertaken by the Brussels-based ITS - Europe Organisation (ERTICO).