Next phase in shockwave traffic jam service: basis for new mobility services

26-04-2016

Starting this week, road users on the Dutch motorway A58 Eindhoven - Tilburg can test rapid data infrastructure for their shockwave traffic jam service. Thirty-four WiFi beacons on the motorway section between Tilburg and Eindhoven ensure that the FlowPatrol and ZOOF apps can transmit traffic warnings before the driver sees a situation through the windscreen. This technology can also be used as a basis for numerous other mobility services. This will ensure that travel is even faster and safer, and more enjoyable and reliable. Not only in Brabant, but in the (near) future in the rest of the Netherlands and Europe, as well.

The Province of Noord-Brabant is the contracting authority for the project, which is part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment’s national programme Beter Benutten (Optimising Use). The market, the government and knowledge institutions work closely together in this project to improve the accessibility of the country’s busiest regions, in part by using intelligent transport services. With the shockwave traffic jam service as basis, the project partners develop the building blocks for new mobility services in the vehicle. These could include a warning system for roadwork, weather conditions or an approaching ambulance, for example, or a system that communicates with traffic lights to tell you the time to green, or that can assign priority to certain traffic flows. New services of this type will enable road users to help themselves and one another, making traffic substantially less costly, faster, cleaner and more efficient.

International standards

The partners in Shockwave traffic jams A58 project have developed the architecture and infrastructure to which all services of this type can be connected. They also developed a data security system and fleshed out protocols for the manner in which they interact. This means that new services can be easily implemented, based on international agreements and regulations. Because the builders have based everything on international standards, what is being tested in Brabant can be relevant on a much larger scale, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, within the foreseeable future. A Road Works Warning system was already successfully tested on the A58 in December, for example.

Talking Traffic kit

For the time being, the infrastructure is only being used by the shockwave traffic jam services provided by FlowPatrol and ZOOF. Starting this week, people who regularly travel on the A58 between Tilburg and Eindhoven can expand their shockwave traffic jam service to participate in the test. To do so, a special device, called a Talking Traffic kit, is installed in the vehicle. This kit is connected to the driver’s smart phone smart phone. It facilitates rapid communication with the WiFi beacons, providing the driver with real-time, personalised travel advice. With these developments, we are making smart use of multiple telecommunication technologies. Incidentally, the apps can continue to be used with the 3/4G technologies already used in the past. Smart phones have enabled us to be connected always and everywhere in the Netherlands, and now we can use this for support while driving.

Help test shockwave traffic jam services

With the shockwave traffic jam services’ Talking Traffic kit, people receive traffic reports before they can see the traffic situation through their windscreen. This will enable them to move through traffic quickly and more easily. They can anticipate faster and thus help to prevent the “shock waves” that can cause shockwave traffic jams. People who would like to help test the system are more than welcome. They can apply to FlowPatrol or ZOOF.

More information on the national programme Beter Benutten and other projects can be found at www.beterbenutten.nl.

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