On 12 November, the green light was given in Flanders for Mobilidata. This ambitious Mobility Programme fits into the Flemish Road Safety Plan. It makes Flemish traffic safer, smoother, and more sustainable through smart data management and technology.
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, residents and app builders can collaborate. This will make traffic 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 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 realising 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 realising 31 smart traffic solutions and a network of sustainable, smart and reliable data that communicates with onboard computers or smartphones. This enables road authorities to better respond to specific mobility needs and prioritise 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 controllers (iTLCs). These smart traffic light controllers can help better reconcile traffic safety and traffic flow, both for active road users, public transport and motorised traffic. Making traffic light-controlled intersections as conflict-free as possible is an essential key point of the road safety plan. But there are other benefits, 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. When approaching an intersection, give an ambulance the green light 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 delivering the data Interchange. This component within Mobilidata exchanges C-ITS messages between the various stakeholders in the C-ITS ecosystem. All this is done following the European standards defined within C-Roads.
“With Mobilidata, we are bridging the gap between hardware on the street and the road user to bring about a behavioural change among travellers, companies and governments. C-ITS is the next fundamental step to bring the mobility ecosystem and its 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 to develop new connected traffic services, and the benefits are countless. In the Netherlands, recent measurements indicate a 10% reduction in travel time for prioritised transport, 2% fewer incidents with emergency vehicles and a significant 15% waiting time and emission reduction for traffic passing an intersection, which also offers a perspective for Flanders.”
Providing free-flowing, safe ways of getting around is essential 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.