Traveling in New Zealand will be more predictable thanks to Bluetooth sensors that collect and share live traffic information with drivers.
Throughout the construction of the Kapiti Expressway, traffic management has played a vital part in minimizing disruption for motorists. New sensor technology utilizes real-time information to help manage the daily commute.
A network of BlipTrack sensors, from Denmark-based information technology company BLIP Systems, have been installed by The New Zealand Transport Agency’s on roads around Auckland International Airport, Kãpiti, Tauranga and parts of the Bay of Plenty. The sensors record in real-time journey times and queue wait times from sites around the North Island of New Zealand.
This real-time traffic information is communicated directly back to motorists. The information is streamed live to a dedicated mobile website called DriveLive which advises people how long journeys are currently taking on selected key routes. In addition, variable message signs, placed along the highway, displays estimated travel time to destinations, enabling drivers to plan their travel around that information.
The New Zealand Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty journey manager, Nigel D’Ath says the DriveLive initiative will help people to plan ahead and work out the best time to travel, and what time they are likely to arrive at their destination.
"Knowing how long a journey will take is important for people and businesses," he says. People have told us that being unable to predict journey times with certainty is one of their biggest frustrations, resulting in lost time and productivity. The DriveLive website will provide people with live information to help them make smarter travel choices and hopefully save time each day. Not only will travelers know what to expect, they will be able to share that information with others."
Mr D’Ath says the New Zealand Transport Agency and project consultants, Beca decided to roll out the initiative as there are a number of large road projects in the pipeline.
“We know, from using the BlipTrack technology, when the busy peaks are. We use the technology also to actually see how long are the delays we´re causing, doing construction. Traffic management is all about keeping the community moving in a very safe manner, past the work sites. It gives safety for the motorists, pedestrians and cyclists as well as our work crews, whilst we cause minimum delays,” said Chris Harmer, Traffic Manager at Higgins.
The BlipTrack sensors also measure travel time savings and reliability improvements, such as in the one of the New Zealand Highway Agency biggest road building project, the Waikato Expressway. To measure the effectiveness of the new Expressway, sensors recorded traffic flows prior to its opening and after opening. Based on this large data set it was possible to demonstrate significant journey time savings totaling yearly savings of 7.6 million dollars to the New Zealand economy.
The solution works by detecting motorists driving with a Bluetooth or WiFi device, such as in hands-free systems and mobile phones. When a vehicle with an activated Bluetooth or WiFi device passes the sensors, its anonymous ID, also called a MAC address, is recorded, encrypted and time-stamped. By combining and analyzing the data collected by all sensors, an accurate picture about each road user, such as their travel times, dwell times and movement patterns are provided. The information can be used to inform and warn about queues and delays, identify problem areas, evaluate and calibrate traffic signals, provide information on the capacity of existing roads, and detect changes in traffic patterns.
The solution is also deployed at Auckland Airport to monitor the behavior of passengers, optimize operation and improve the passenger experience.
In addition to measure traffic in New Zealand, US, UK, Switzerland and Denmark, The solution is successfully employed in optimization efforts in ports in Denmark and UK, train stations in Holland, ski resorts in the US and Australia, amusement parks, and at events all over the world. In addition, the solution is installed in more than 25 international airports, including JFK, Amsterdam, Dubai, Dublin, Toronto, Milano, Barcelona, Auckland, Cincinnati, Brussels, Manchester, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo.
“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