The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, local governments and businesses will jointly invest 90 million euros in the Talking Traffic Partnership up to and including 2020. The partnership with the traffic industry, telecommunications and internet companies, and automotive companies has been set up to develop and supply innovative traffic applications in the next five years.
The applications provide continuous en-route guidance and assistance to road users, and in the near future also to vehicles. This increases their ability to anticipate traffic situations, which in turn improves traffic flows and safety. The new applications will be seen in practice – on the road and inside vehicles – as from the summer of 2017, when the companies will start supplying road users with the new driving and travel advice technologies.
Role AT Osborne
Ineke Meyer Consultant Mobility, Audits & Reviews has made a significant contribution to the preparation of the tender documents (e.g. Program of Requirements, award criteria). During the dialogue phase her role was to bridge the gap between the requirements of the government and the companies, in order to build a tender dossier providing added value for all parties. The assessment process has been completed and the market parties have been selected. multi-year contracts (until end 2020) are now being negotiated. This autumn depicts the start of the implementation phase.
The government and the market are equal partners in the Talking Traffic Partnership. Together they are able to introduce intelligent traffic systems in cities and their surroundings on a scale that is commercially viable and yields visible results.
A key element of the partnership is the development of a new generation of traffic lights that can communicate continuously with approaching vehicles and cyclists, optimising traffic flows across intersections and the entire urban network. The new technology, for example, eliminates the need for motorists to wait pointlessly for the light to turn green at empty intersections late at night and creates longer periods of green light for large groups of cyclists. Stopping and accelerating of heavy goods vehicles in cities is reduced as traffic lights recognise heavy transport and turn green in time.
Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) applauds the partnership: “The Talking Traffic Partnership showcases the Netherlands’ strengths: government and businesses are jointly taking responsibility to improve the flow of traffic in urban areas using smart new technologies. Innovation should not just be discussed: most of all it requires action. This gives a firm boost to the development of technologies that will enable road users to reduce their time on the road, cut their fuel consumption and stay safe.”
By using modern telecommunications and cloud technologies in combination with information crowdsourcing, new services will be able to offer driving task support as well as navigation in the entire country and in cities. Motorists do not even need to purchase a new car for this: a navigation system will suffice.
The new services include individual speed advice and warnings of dangerous situations, such as the tail end of traffic jams, sudden braking, slipperiness or a local fog bank, accidents and roadworks. In addition, drivers may be advised about parking spaces available nearby and about the best route to take in the event of roadworks or an accident. Non-stop guidance via navigation and en-route support provide more comfort and cut the fuel consumption of cars and lorries, which benefits the environment and people’s wallets.
The new technologies will be introduced step by step until 2020. The first results are expected in the summer of 2017. Earlier projects on a smaller scale showed a 5 to 24 percent reduction in travel times, emissions and accident numbers. Research has shown that the cost to society can be slashed by around 90 million euros every year with the use of continuously adjusting traffic signal systems at intersections.
Specific examples of Talking Traffic uses
The driver always sees the maximum speed that applies to the stretch of road where he is at that moment:
- Standard maximum speeds (incl. delivery windows).
- Dynamic maximum speeds in the event of incidents/emergencies.
- Adjusted maximum speeds in the event of roadworks.
This information is tailored to the type of vehicle (e.g. a lorry or trailer) set by the user.
The driver knows what to expect and how to avoid exceeding the maximum speed.
Potentially dangerous situations
The driver receives timely information about any current and potentially dangerous situation on the route that is expected to inconvenience the driver:
- the distance (or time) remaining until the potentially dangerous situation is reached.
- how long the potentially dangerous situation is expected to last.
- advice about desirable driving behaviour (lane choice and speed advice), tailored to the driver’s own vehicle category and the current traffic situation.
- route advice (an alternative to the planned route will be offered if this offers benefits).
Other delays and inconvenience to traffic are also displayed, such as information about where a traffic jam begins, open bridges and traffic incidents along the route..
Some groups of road users are given priority at traffic lights if certain conditions are met. This means that these road users are given or keep a green light and can continue driving (almost) without any hindrance. The priority (the time that the traffic light is green) is retained until the entire target group (column) has passed the intersection. Examples include priority for public transport, heavy goods vehicles or groups of cyclists. This improves the flow of traffic and reduces the emission of harmful substances.
Bringing traffic-light information into the vehicle
Road users approaching a traffic light and stopping there receive up-to-date information from that traffic light: the time remaining until it turns green or red, translated into up-to-date speed advice, the waiting time remaining and the cause of any extended waiting time.
All road users know what to expect and the additional information reduces emissions (for example, people are better able to anticipate red and green lights).
Optimising traffic flows
As data from vehicles (type of vehicle, location, direction of travel, speed, destination) becomes available, the current and future amount of traffic at an intersection or stretch of road **. This allows the traffic to use the road even more efficiently as the traffic-light control process is optimised in real time. The goal is to minimise waiting times, travel times and stops by adjusting traffic control.
The road user receives up-to-date parking information and is able to adjust his route accordingly. This includes information about the availability of parking spaces, costs, restrictions on height, width and weight, opening hours, etc.