In opening speech, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen makes a case for innovation and cooperation
Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen talked in her opening speech about the possibilities and applications for intelligent technology and the way in which we can utilise these to make the Netherlands more accessible, safer and more sustainable. Her primary message: We have to move faster. “My priorities for the coming years include creating new, future-proof infrastructure, making way for a new generation of vehicles and introducing new transport concepts."
These goals, the Minister said, can only be realised if there is cooperation. She pointed to Partnership Talking Traffic as an example of a joint venture between public and private parties which is developing innovative traffic technologies and, above all, is generating concrete results. She explicitly mentioned the first services available: personal notifications for tailbacks, slow traffic and sudden weather changes. “Predictive technology which can be used in real time: I really like that!" After her opening speech, the Minister briefly visited the Smart Mobility Hall and heard a lot of information from several companies, including Be-Mobile and Flitsmeister.
Eddy Verhoeven (Siemens): “People from Flanders, Germany, Dubai, Oregon, Iran and Korea expressed a great deal of interest at the Siemens stand for the Talking Traffic structure for traffic control systems. Someone from America e-mailed me this week, saying pointedly: ‘The Dutch government’s Talking Traffic initiative sounds like a very smart approach’.”
Mark Grefhorst (Be-Mobile): “It was an extraordinary honour to receive the Minister and then the Secretary General at Be-Mobile's stand. They were very interested in how we process data with our C-ITS platform and deliver services through Flitsmeister. We also discussed such major issues as privacy and security.”
Successful demonstration of ITCS on N205 provincial road
During a live demonstration on Tuesday, 20 March, Elisabeth Post, a member of the Provincial Executive for North Holland, showed that the N205 is ready for Talking Traffic. The N205 is fully equipped with intelligent traffic lights, making it the first intelligent road in North Holland. The live demonstration indicated how road users were informed personally through an app on their smartphone about how much time there was left before a traffic light turned red or green. There was a demonstration, too, of how intelligent traffic control systems (‘ITCS’) are able to recognise oncoming traffic and to prioritise based on this information.
Freek van der Valk (Swarco): “While, on the N205, it was apparent in real time how the communication between ITCS and vehicles went, we showed at the stand how this works with TLEX, the relay point. The entire chain operated perfectly. As Partnership Talking Traffic, we discussed and worked on this for two years. It’s a gigantic step forward that it’s working live now. At the stand, we got a lot of international attention and praise for this achievement."
Annemarie Boereboom (Vialis): By jointly presenting Talking Traffic with our partners and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (‘I&WM’), we let the world see how the Netherlands is really giving substance to a joint public-private partnership. It was wonderful that our international guests were full of admiration for this type of partnership."
Jorn de Vries (Flitsmeister): “The Intertraffic exhibition is always well attended, attracting many people from foreign countries as well. The international responses to what we’re doing as Partnership Talking Traffic were very positive. There were many international companies with which we’ll be in further contact in the near future.”
Secretary-General Lidewijde Ongering learns about the Talking Traffic chain
On Friday, Secretary-General Lidewijde Ongering visited the network square, and was given a tour by Caspar de Jonge on I&WM’s behalf of the various partners’ stands, with the cohesion of the Talking Traffic chain as the main theme. Haye Mensonides, Dynniq’s Managing Director, explained more about the operation of the ITCS and offered Ongering a VR experience, so that she could see for herself how ITCS work.
Next, there was a demonstration of TLEX: Traffic Light Exchange, developed under the partnership’s umbrella by traffic systems suppliers Swarco and Monotch. TLEX is the central point for the automated exchange of real-time data between new ITCS and road users.
Representatives from the cloud services (Eddy Verhoeven and Piet Stoevelaar on Siemens/Fortgång’s behalf and Mark Grefhorst on Be-Mobile’s behalf) then mentioned how divergent data flows in the cloud are combined, controlled and converted into useful information for information services. Secretary General Ongering was very enthusiastic about the partnership and the mix of companies sharing their knowledge.
Broad, substantive programme
Intertraffic also offered visitors a broad, substantive programme with sessions on, for example, Mobility as a Service, Talking Logistics, the Dutch Tulip, including Amsterdam Practical Trial (‘APT’), Socrates and Concorda, the various international projects relating to connected and automated driving, and, of course, Talking Traffic. The session about ITCS in particular generated much interest, resulting in queues at the entrance to the Smart Mobility Theater.
Led by Marcel Westerman on I&WM’s behalf, different chain partners brought visitors up to date on the developments surrounding ITCS and the position of ITCS in the Talking Traffic chain. The introduction of ITCS has gone well. The first ITCS are now operating; before the summer, there will be around 800 of them. The goal is to convert 2000 to 3000 traffic control systems within five years, so they can communicate directly with ‘connected’ vehicles.
Traffic lights which have not been aligned now result in a loss of around EUR 90 million each year in added travel time, unnecessary emissions and unsafe situations.
New Talking Traffic website
During the exhibition, the new, expanded website – www.talking-traffic.com – went live. The website now includes partner pages, in which all the companies and government agencies briefly explain their involvement in the partnership, with links to relevant pages on their own sites. The information is also available in English, of course.
The partnership has its own YouTube channel now, too, where all of the videos can be seen, as well as a Twitter account: @talking_traffic. Follow us, and retweet our posts! Together, we can let everybody know what we’re working on.