5.000 cars collect information about black spots in traffic
Flanders is launching a pilot project to allow cars to send information about possible black spots on the road. The data are transmitted by an integrated SIM card. According to Ben Weyts (N-VA), Flemish Minister for Mobility, the project can be rolled out to the whole of Flanders.
Until now, data analysis in traffic was only carried out with induction technology, in which only the number of vehicles could be counted. Because cars today are equipped with a lot of sensors, the vehicles themselves can collect data about the state of the road surface in a much more intelligent way. Using the built-in SIM card, they transmit data from the ABS braking system.
If it turns out that the ABS of above-average numbers of cars intervenes at a particular location, this may indicate a slippery or battered road surface. These data will later be compared with the weather conditions and the actual speed limits to have a correct interpretation. This technology makes it possible to act in a preventive way, and it is not necessary to wait for accident figures to take action against a potentially dangerous situation (black spot). In many cases, new lines or other signs can already improve the situation.
The Flemish government is conducting a pilot project in Flemish Brabant together with the Febiac federation and technology company IBM. 5.000 drivers were asked permission to collect the information from their driver assistance systems anonymously. “Our traditional measuring instruments are sensors in and off the road, but today cars have become driving sensors,” says Ben Weyts. “We now have the opportunity to gather much more information about actual speeds and dangerous situations.
According to Joost Kaesemans, spokesman for Febiac, “this project has the potential to be rolled out across Flanders. It can also make other applications possible. We can, for example, use data from other safety systems, such as the ESP (electronic stability system) to detect black spots. There are even possibilities to collect environmental data to study why more emissions are being emitted in a particular place. The first results of this new research method are expected in the fall of 2019.”