Drones successfully detect traffic issues before accidents occur

Flanders’ proactive approach to tackling unsafe traffic situations appears to be successful, and the first results are visible. Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) intends to use new technology to preventively improve traffic safety.

Last year, Minister Peeters introduced the MIA approach, a new and inventive way to tackle unsafe traffic situations. MIA – Mobiliteit Innovatief Aanpakken – is meant to accelerate infrastructural investments to improve traffic safety. Dangerous and problematic intersections, roundabouts, and approach and exit roads will be tackled more quickly.

Proactive detection

According to the minister, the overabundance of rules, specifications, instructions, and complex and time-consuming procedures slow down infrastructural interventions. “This causes irritation and frustration, and, in the meantime, it also costs lives,” she said at the time of the introduction.

Minister Peeters applied the MIA approach by experimenting with the proactive detection of unsafe traffic situations in two experimental gardens, one in Limburg and one in West Flanders. Several traffic situations were monitored by cameras and drones.

Traffic flow

The drones analyze the traffic flow and detect possible conflicting traffic situations. High in the air, the drone film the movements of cars, trucks, cyclists, and pedestrians. Then the complete traffic situation is mapped and analyzed.

As a result, some traffic spots were equipped with cameras; others got (better) lighting. In Hasselt, for instance, some cameras were installed, and now the camera images can also be analyzed. Other municipalities will see similar interventions.

Throughout Flanders

Minister Peeters is convinced that those new and innovative technologies, like cameras and drones, can help to detect those areas for improvement more quickly. So, in the future, she plans to extend this approach throughout Flanders.


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