A new traffic solution that in real-time displays the fastest route from the Port of Aalborg and to the E45 highway, is tackling the increasing congestion problems at both the Port of Aalborg and the eastern part of the city.
The Port of Aalborg, in North Jutland, Denmark, is using BlipTrack technology to improve traffic management, enabling it to know where vehicles are located in real time, how fast they are moving and, therefore, how traffic is flowing. The port first began working with BLIP Systems in 2011 to develop a solution that would help identify when drivers arrived at specific locations. The first phase of the project focused on documenting traffic flow on internal port roads by detecting Bluetooth devices. It next plans to add more sensors to track traffic patterns on external roads that travel between different freight terminals in the area.
The Port of Aalborg has a five-century history of moving cargo into and out of the North Jutland area. The port was first established in 1476 with a few simple piers. Today, the 24-hour port imports and exports commodities such as cement, coal, feedstuffs, fertiliser, grain and oil cargoes, and includes a railroad, a warehouse and a quay. Two additional private ports include a cement factory, Aalborg Portland A/S, and a power station, Vattenfall A/S.
The movement of cargo, naturally, leads to traffic, says Mette Schmidt, the Port of Aalborg's chief technical officer, and that concerns both the port and the community in which it's located. The port sought an automated solution that would not only help relieve traffic congestion by alerting drivers of conditions in real time, but would also provide analytical data for better traffic flow management. "This applies for the number of vessels and goods by ship but also on land, where it is interesting to know the flow of traffic in and out of the port," Schmidt states.
The port and the entire eastern part of the city are experiencing increased traffic in recent years, which means greater congestion, says Christian Bugislaus Carstens, BLIP Systems' marketing manager. Approximately 1,000 vehicles arrive at the port each day to deliver or pick up cargo. This heavy traffic load affects not only the port but also the community, in which about 10,000 vehicles travel daily. This will become increasingly important as a new university hospital is slated for completion in 2020, which will increase traffic in the area around the port by around 13,000 cars per day. Therefore, Schmidt says, providing drivers with the ability to choose alternative routes is essential.
“For us it is crucial that we are able reach our customers on time, and time is money for us. Time is also a key parameter in our quality, enabling us to meet the demands and expectations from our clients. It is therefore important that we are able to choose which roads we should select and deselect," says Niels Birk, Terminal Manager for Danske Fragtmænd.
In 2011, BLIP Systems installed the first BlipTrack sensors on existing poles along the port's internal routes, as well as at the port and on highways leading to the port. The sensors work by collecting non-personal data from driver´s mobile devices, such as phones and tablets. By re-identifying, the devices from multiple sensors, the travel times, dwell times, and movement patterns become available. Importantly, the solution does not send or track any personal information; it merely monitors the number of Bluetooth devices signals in a given area.
During the next phase of the deployment, the port would like to expand the solution's use to a larger geographic area, so as to analyse traffic flow between the various transportation hubs. "The solution would allow us to monitor strange [unusual] traffic and freight patterns," Schmidt says. "The good questions often lead to new ideas, but without data, you will have no knowledge."
With the information the port has gathered thus far, along with an analysis of that data, it expects to create congestion patterns that might be predictable.
"At this time, we only have minor traffic problems, but when the new university hospital is finished in a couple of years, a doubling of the traffic is expected. This will affect the main corridor out of the port," Schmidt says. "So it is important to have before-and-now data in order to make a future prognosis. With the solution from BLIP Systems, we are able to do just that."
Drivers can access to the Port of Aalborg´s website, where the current driving times are continuously updated and displayed in real-time. The Port of Aalborg also disseminates driving times on physical signs at the exit roads to the port area.
“With BlipTrack we are able to measure the capacity and traffic flow in real-time in and around the area. This allows us to take proactive steps to initiate countermeasures if traffic build-up should occur. It also helps us to understand various traffic-related matters, enabling us to evaluate and validate existing traffic models and make informed decisions about where to prioritise expansions and optimisations to help the daily commute.”
Traffic Analyst at Trafik Stockholm
“It gives us insights on how individual journeys can differ from each other, especially when traffic lights are involved. The ability to measure travel times over long stretches of road, with various queue lengths, and only looking at specific route choices, is another strength of the BlipTrack solution.”
CEO of Trafik Stockholm
“BlipTrack helps Thai citizens to travel home faster during two major traffic events: Songkran and New Year holidays. The system allowed not only road users to decide route choices via travel time info online but also the Thai Highway Police to manage traffic in real-time.”
Dr. Songrit Chayanan
Director of Samut Sakhon Highway District.
“With BlipTrack, we can discover errors and irregularities that we would not have a chance to see otherwise. In addition, it is extremely educational and easily accessible to study how the incidents of various kinds influence the road network.”
Project Manager at Aarhus Municipality
“The solution helps improve service levels for the municipality commuters. The real-time information allows drivers to make informed route choices that ultimately distribute traffic and increases the operational performance of the road network.”
Anders Kruse Christiansen
Project Manager at Aarhus Municipality
“Portsmouth has benefited from the accurate data from the BlipTrack installations with a much-improved understanding of journey times within the city of Portsmouth. We consider that the ease of extracting traffic data from BlipTrack is significant to see how time savings are achieved. Selecting the required route, date, time, etc. is very straightforward and simple to understand.”
Traffic Engineer at Portsmouth City Council
“The solution has helped us get a better understanding of the dynamic traffic system and provides quantifiable data to support the improvement measures to traffic flows. It allows us to provide a world-class service to our customers and community by efficiently managing traffic flows in and out of the port.” Read more.
General Manager of Strategy and Risk Management at Port of Dover
“BlipTrack provides the Aalborg City Business Association with an in-depth understanding on how people move within the city and measures the economic impact of events. The data allow us to analyze, optimize and improve large-scale events”. Read more
Director of Aalborg City Business Association
BlipTrack provides our clients with an unparalleled range of traffic information. Using the same data, we can provide live travel times direct to signs and phones, identify incidents and delays through to understanding the strategic route choices, origin/destination and changing travel patterns. Read more
Associate at BECA
“BlipTrack give us a unique opportunity to deliver new logistics solutions for the benefit of our customers”. Read more
Chief Technical Officer for the Port of Aalborg