On 12 November the green light was given in Flanders for Mobilidata, an ambitious Mobility Programme that fits into the Flemish Road Safety Plan and wants to make Flemish traffic safer, smoother and more sustainable through smart data management and technology. In order to achieve these aims, Mobilidata is putting in place a network of smart, sustainable and reliable data sources. By working with Mobilidata solutions, policymakers, businesses, government departments, local residents and app builders can all collaborate to make being on the road smoother, more sustainable, more comfortable and safer for every road user. The assignment for the digital network was awarded to Be-Mobile, which works in a consortium together with Flitsmeister, NDrive, Bosch, Monotch, Transport & Mobility Leuven, Tractebel, Movias and Sirus. Monotch assists Be-Mobile in Mobilidata with the C-ITS message exchange between the various stakeholders in the C-ITS ecosystem and provides its Traffic Live Exchange (TLEX) platform in order to ensure data exchange with traffic lights. Flanders is allocating 18.2 million euros for the programme.
Data the new gold for mobility solutions
Data and in particular data connectivity are considered the new “gold”. By realizing a sustainable digital data infrastructure and stimulating data use in applications, various innovative mobility solutions can be created in Flanders that increase road safety, improve traffic flow and reduce emissions. The consortium is committed to realize 31 smart traffic solutions and a network of sustainable, smart and reliable data that communicates with on-board computers or smartphones. This enables road authorities to better respond to certain mobility needs and give priority to road users such as emergency services, freight traffic, public transport or cyclists. Or what about providing in-car information in dangerous road situations such as tailbacks, accidents, bad road surfaces or road works or static and dynamic speed limits or advice routes.
Rollout of intelligent traffic control installations
The most tangible pillar of Mobilidata is the rollout of intelligent traffic light controller (iTLCs). These intelligent traffic lights controllers can help to better reconcile traffic safety and traffic flow, both for active road users, public transport and motorized traffic. Making traffic light-controlled intersections as conflict free as possible is an important key point of the road safety plan. But there are other benefits as well such as giving priority to certain road users. In bad weather, road operators can make the traffic light turn green more quickly when a group of cyclists approaches the intersection. Give an ambulance a green light when approaching an intersection to allow smooth passage. Or give a green light for trucks so that they emit less CO2.
C-ITS experience from other countries
As a consortium partner, Monotch will provide the TLEX platform to enable bi-directional data exchange of C-ITS data with traffic lights. In addition, Monotch will assist Be-Mobile in the delivery of the data Interchange. This component within Mobilidata provides the exchange of C-ITS messages between the various stakeholders in the C-ITS ecosystem. All this is done in accordance with the European standards defined within C-Roads.
“With Mobilidata, we are bridging the gap between hardware on the street and the road user in order to bring about a behavioral change among travelers, companies and governments. C-ITS is the next fundamental step to bring the mobility ecosystem and their individual interests closer together. Public-private partnerships like Mobilidata are providing an important point of progress in this regard,” said Jan Cools, CEO of Be-Mobile.
Menno Malta, CEO of Monotch adds: “As a consortium partner, we bring relevant experience from other European countries where our TLEX platform has already been used successfully for the development of new connected traffic services and the benefits are countless. In the Netherlands, recent measurements indicate a 10% reduction in travel time for prioritized transport, 2% fewer incidents with emergency vehicles and a significant 15% waiting time and emission reduction for traffic passing an intersection, which also offers perspective for Flanders.”
Providing free-flowing, safe ways of getting around is an important priority for the Flemish government. That is why the Agency for Roads and Traffic, imec, Department of Mobility and Public Works, Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Connecting Europe Facility have put an ambitious programme in place in Flanders, called Mobilidata. The programme has set itself some ambitious goals, namely guaranteeing accessibility and mobility, improving livability in Flanders, while at the same time increasing road safety and reducing damage to the environment and nature.
More information about Mobilidata can be found at: www.mobilidata.be.