CONNECTED & AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
Nationwide Cooperative ITS is a reality in the Netherlands thanks to Monotch technology, as Menno Malta explains
Imagine the efficiency increase for the entire mobility ecosystem when travellers, roadside equipment and roads are connected, sharing info, status and plans, continuously and in real time.
This is no longer science fiction for Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) makes all of this happen. Hereby, Intelligent traffic control systems (iTCS) are able to send data, as well as receive information and therefore "see" on time what type and how much traffic is coming. The adjustment of traffic control systems will be done continuously and fully automatic, taking the current traffic volume and the type of traffic at an intersection or route into account. By means of smart technology, traffic can be spread over the entire city network: peak traffic can be eliminated faster in this way. Moreover, the traffic control systems are able to "talk" with motorists. In case of C-ITS, industry parties are developing and coordinating intelligent communication and road operators will facilitate them by offering data and access to roadside systems such as traffic lights.
Monotch developed a supplier-independent smart mobility platform in order to optimize traffic flows, called the Traffic Live Exchange (TLEX). This provides a central point for the computerized exchange of millions of real-time data messages between smart traffic control systems and road users.
Millions of data messages between road users and intersections pass through TLEX. It therefore forms a crucial link in the Talking Traffic Partnership chain, where road users, iTCSs and infrastructure can communicate with each other in real time. The ultimate goal of TLEX is to ensure that traffic runs smoothly, efficiently and safely. The cloud not only receives iTCSs data, but also data on, for example, weather conditions, available parking space, accidents and traffic jams. These data streams are combined and monitored in the cloud. Service providers use the cloud data to provide their customers with customized on-trip information via an app or navigation system. The real-time data flow is bi-directional for road users who are connected via their smartphone or navigation service send back valuable data via the cloud during their journey and TLEX subsequently to the iTCSs.
Data from all iTCSs (so from all suppliers of traffic lights) will be unlocked via TLEX. This way, national coverage is achieved. Monotch technology makes it possible to collect, process and provide real-time data from different sources to road authorities, service providers, technology providers, the automotive industry and ultimately also to road users. Data from all iTCSs, and therefore from all suppliers of traffic lights, are accessed via TLEX. The coverage is nationwide. With this first nationwide C-ITS implementation, road users are informed, priority can be given to specific traffic and traffic flows are optimized. This makes the Netherlands global leader in C-ITS.
The TLEX technology offers many advantages for both policy makers of authorities, road authorities, emergency services, technology vendors of roadside equipment, service providers as well as car manufacturers and ultimately road users. “Whether it is about gaining insights into data and making better use of the road network for policy makers or by improving traffic flow and road safety for road managers, a lot can be achieved with data sharing via TLEX”, states Paul Potters, director of smart mobility at Monotch. Another advantage is giving priority to emergency services and informing other road users about approaching emergency vehicles. Traffic technology vendors can upgrade their products by adding a smart component to their existing technology. Service providers can optimize their travel services by means of the unlocked and processed data. And car manufacturers can upgrade their in-car information and safety systems.
“By offering road users new driver assistance services using fast data transfer, they are connected to each other and to roadside systems and are able to receive real-time information on speed, lane choice, merging and exiting traffic, road works and road hazards while driving. Certain road users can also be given priority over others, for example at intelligent intersections. These intersections not only know that traffic is approaching, but also what type of traffic and with which destination and quantity and time. For example, traffic lights can stay green for a longer period in case of approaching heavy trucks, so that they do not need to brake or accelerate. With this we prevent additional emissions and we stimulate the flow. Cyclists, buses and trams can also be given priority depending on the location, route and policy of the municipality" according to Potters. “By properly coordinating traffic flows and individual road users, travel times will become shorter and traffic safety and air quality will improve. ”
In early June during the 2019 ITS European Congress, Monotch will show the operational results of the C-ITS ecosystem present in the Netherlands in collaboration with Swarco, Dynniq, V-tron and the Province of Noord-Holland.
Results that offer many benefits for the traffic flow and traffic safety on the Dutch road network and for the safety and comfort of road users. The demonstration is unique and innovative due to the fact that C-ITS is now functioning nationwide and the entire ecosystem is cooperating. The C-ITS demonstration shows that real-time data is available from different types of objects, from competing traffic technology suppliers, from different road authorities and that the available data is used in solutions from different service providers. With the Traffic Live Exchange (TLEX) platform developed by Monotch, all smart traffic lights in the Netherlands can be linked to road users and road authorities. With this first nationwide C-ITS implementation, road users are informed, priority can be given to specific traffic and traffic flows are optimized.
Menno Malta is CEO of Monotch
Click HERE to listen to Monotch's smart city director Paul Potters talk to Kevin Borras about TLEX