The internationally renowned C-ITS platform TLEX®, which currently handles over 1.4 billion messages per day, is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
When Traffic Live Exchange went live in April 2017, as part of the Talking Traffic project, the platform as we know it today didn’t look anything like it; there were no dashboard functions or any monitoring tools available. However, this fundamental platform turned out to be the beginning of the smart mobility revolution we are seeing today.
“I can confidently say we are most proud of the robustness and the performance of TLEX®. It is truly impressive to see this amount of data exchange. We are very content that our platform has very high uptime, no security issues and is safe to use.”, says Menno Malta, CEO of Monotch.
The early days of TLEX®
During the first six months after release, Talking Traffic parties connected to the innovative mobility platform and invested their time testing and building interfaces. They planned their trials during this first period.
By April 2017, the first iTLCs (Intelligent Traffic Controllers) in The Netherlands were connected to the platform. This resulted in the first Dutch intersection with smart traffic lights being live in the Netherlands.
TLEX®’s first steps across the Dutch borders
Starting in 2018, every new TLC in the Netherlands has been added to TLEX®, allowing for more and more data exchange. Monotch realised the first foreign TLEX® tests on the public roads in the same year. Both Scandinavian cities, Trondheim (Norway) and Copenhagen (Denmark) concluded successful demonstrations.
In September 2018, during the 25th ITS World Congress in Copenhagen, Monotch was awarded the Best Technical Paper Award for a paper on TLEX®. Another step in the international publicity around the first real-time, scalable, vendor-independent, robust mobility data exchange platform. More parties in the ecosystem are starting to realise that this platform is filling a void in scaling up smart mobility.
Also, during the third quarter of 2018, both well-known companies, EY and PWC, audited and tested the Monotch processes and the security of the TLEX® system. With a penetration test, Ernst & Young highly valued this outcome. Around the same time, PWC audited Monotch’s internal organisation and also concluded on a high.
TLEX® wins awards
In 2019 a lot happened with regard to the TLEX® platform. In May, Monotch won the Automotive Innovation Award, a two-yearly tribute to the innovative capacity of the Dutch automotive industry. We won this award in the Services category. The jury reports, “Monotch designed a platform with huge potential to improve traffic flow. It also contributes to safer traffic. The impact this platform can have on the traffic in The Netherland, and Europe is enormous.” After five years of TLEX®, we see that this is becoming a reality. We even foresee an expansion beyond Europe!
In September 2019, at the International Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, we were the Automotive Brand Contest winner for the TLEX® platform in the category connectivity.
International projects using TLEX®
Besides getting awards, the system itself was tested too. Also, in September, there was a test week for the CONCORDA project. This large-scale cross-border project aims at pre-testing the employment of connected and automated driving on highways and within (inter)urban environments. TLEX® was tested in the metropolitan region of Amsterdam, on highways, provincial roads and the urban areas of Amsterdam. This testing week collected valuable data for additional simulations and analysis.
Another international program that Monotch joined to implement the Traffic Live Exchange platform in that same year is the NordicWay3. This EU C-ITS pilot enables vehicles, infrastructure and network operators to communicate safety hazards and other information from roads in the Scandinavian countries between many mobility ecosystem stakeholders.
Focus on Dutch projects for TLEX®
We saw many activities around TLEX® in 2020; several projects were conducted using TLEX®, Monotch performed extensive stress tests on the platform, additional tooling was added, and a large tender that puts TLEX® at heart was won.
Divided over the year, multiple projects came along for TLEX®. In January, we teamed up in the SmartwayZ.nl project with public and private parties to determine if and how GLOSA (Green Light Optimal Speed Advice) is usable for driver assistance and comfort services.
Another project in the same team was called ‘Digital Traffic management Rules’. During this project, road operators make traffic measures available to service providers to provide better travel information to road users. This project aims to solve traffic problems in the region by, for example, indicating the most socially desirable routes.
The third project with the SmartwayZ.nl team was project ‘Slim sturen’ (Smart Routing). In this project, the TLEX® platform collects traffic-related information. It prepares it for distribution while at the same time supplying this to service providers who process the data in navigation apps that are available to road users.
In the DALI project (Data Science for Logistics Innovation), 18 companies joined to test datafication in the logistics sector in the southern parts of The Netherlands. The ultimate goal is to make the logistics industry future-proof.
By adding more service providers to access the TLEX® data, it became available for over one million road users. From our files, we can see that TLEX® sent around 250 million messages a day in 2020.
Performance and stress-tests
Through the growing use of TLEX®, Monotch realised the platform could do with necessary system testing. That is why in June 2020, we did a series of large-scale stress and performance tests on the TLEX® I2V platform. Our development team prepared this for several months and then tested it almost non-stop for two weeks. This proved that TLEX® could deliver about 95 billion messages per 24 hours, the equivalent of supporting the entire Benelux countries when C-ITS services are rolled out on a large scale. The platform can also connect over 10,000 intersections!
Also, in 2020, we expanded the platform with many new features. Monotch initially designed TLEX® to connect junctions to facilitate data exchange with traffic lights; however, we can now connect many more roadside systems. After the update, TLEX® offers more interfaces and is adaptable to various message types such as ETSI and C-Road standards.
TLEX® is at the heart of the Dutch national urban data platform
In October 2020, Monotch won the tender to use TLEX® as the basis of the Dutch mobility data exchange for the years to come. This 4 to 8-year exclusive contract with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was fully operational by January 2021. The Dutch system is called UDAP (Urban Data Access Platform) and realises significant benefits for municipalities and road users. After its successful launch in January 2021, the data platform UDAP became the new smart mobility standard.
Teaming up to increase the TLEX® use
In 2021 Monotch signed six partnerships with Dutch, British and Finish companies. Each with its unique offering to make smart mobility thrive. We found new deployment partners in Costain(UK), Be-Mobile(Belgium) and Nodeon(Finland). Solutions partners Sentors und TriOpSys are both Dutch-based companies. Increasing partnerships in the mobility ecosystems create a more comprehensive set of traffic solutions that we can now handle through the TLEX® platform. Monotch keeps reaching out to potential partner companies to offer each country or region the right partner.
Data exchange beyond roads and borders
Die DATACLEP pilot project, which also took place in 2021, showed that TLEX® does not only fit data exchange of road-bound equipment. In the harbour of Moerdijk, shipping containers were recognised and compared with the multimodal facilities on water and rail.
“TLEX® is used beyond our expectations and, even today, the basis of many new use cases. We don’t see this will end soon, as we are approached for new projects regularly,” says Menno Malta.
Monotch founders Paul Potters, Smart Mobility Director and Menno Malta, CEO, are often invited as keynote speakers at international events to talk about the TLEX® platforms. They’ve been guests at Highways UK in Birmingham, the IRF Congress in Dubai, Ertico – ITS European online webinar and the Slovenian International Symposium on Electronics in Transport. These talks prove time and again that the fact that TLEX® is vendor-independent, scalable and bi-directional makes it unique and beneficial to all parties in the eco-system, and there is a global interest in this solution.
“It’s a totally new market to exchange such an amount of real-time mobility data. Monotch sets up the product development to make our system scalable and, therefore, future-proof. This way of working has led to a unique platform.”, the founders confirm.
The future of TLEX®
“We can see many new projects and milestones that we will be sharing in 2022. We keep working on large and international deployments and planning for new ones with our team. Smart mobility isn’t a thing from the future; it is already happening, and Monotch is in the forefront.” Malta says.