WirelessDevNet.com Press Release
BlipTrack Shows Big Savings In New Zealand Highway Project
Vodskov, Denmark - September 16, 2013 - There is an increasing requirement for infrastructure providers to demonstrate the benefits of targeted projects are being delivered. With respect to major road projects, these benefits are, using traditional technologies, often long term and strategic in nature as the return on investment takes time. So to provide both rapid assessment whilst gathering data for longer term evaluation, in an ongoing four-lane highway project in the Waikato region, the New Zealand Transport Agency ( NZTA ) is using BlipTrack Bluetooth sensors from the Danish wireless technology company BLIP Systems.
Some of the major benefits, that the NZTA expect from the new highway is reduced journey times, increased highway capacity and passing opportunities, reduced traffic congestion, reduced fuel costs and CO2 emissions and improved reliability of the transport network. To measure the effectiveness of the new Expressway, BlipTrack sensors recorded traffic flows on the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway for approximately 3 months prior to its opening and after opening. The sensors were configured to not only detect the journey time changes but also the relative proportion of traffic using the new and old routes. Based on this large data set it has been possible to demonstrate significant journey time savings totaling yearly savings of 7.6 million dollars to the New Zealand economy . These initial results compare favorably to the time savings predicted in the highway project investigation stage. The initial findings can be re-evaluated later in the year to compare data unaffected by seasonal variance / holiday traffic
The Bluetooth network in the Waikato also allows for an assessment of both the local impacts and the effects on the corridor as a whole. This enables cumulative benefits to be calculated, and also reduces the likelihood that downstream congestion is ignored when calculating benefits.
The BlipTrack solution that the NZTA has adopted to capture journey time data relies on the fact that a statistically significant proportion of vehicles on the highway network are travelling with Bluetooth devices switched on. These devices operate using anonymous unique serial numbers (MAC addresses) which the Bluetooth roadside sensors detect as the vehicle drives passed them. By correlating the time each vehicle passes the roadside detectors with the detector’s location it can determine Journey time (between two or more sensors), Journey reliability (statistically meaningful data derived from 1000’s of results), Vehicle routings and timing (vehicles passing multiple roadside sensors), Near real-time performance and Pre and post road opening data.
Unlike automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), the Bluetooth device volunteers its unique identifier number, without the need for expensive video analytics.
Bluetooth matching is an attractive technology because it is relatively cheap (compared to ANPR) and affords statistically significant sample of data (>10%) in real time and due to its anonymity can be stored indefinitely and data-mined. Where it is installed, it can be used to identify journey times year round. It can identify travel times during the day, and therefore identify changes to peak spread, congestion reliability, the effects of holiday peak loading, etc.
Unlike number plates or cell phone IDE numbers, there is no way of tracing the MAC number back to the owner, as there are a variety of types of device with Bluetooth, and no database matching these devices to their owners.
BlipTrack sensors covers over 600 km of state highway network on the North Island of New Zealand
The full report: http://conf.hardingconsultants.co.nz/workspace/uploads/vallyon-chris-ipenztg2013-5191ab148c12f.pdf
About BLIP Systems
BLIP Systems is a privately held wireless technology company with headquarters near Aalborg, Denmark. It was founded in 2003 as an MBO of the Bluetooth activities within Ericsson Denmark. The vision and high expertise at BLIP Systems is derived from 16 extremely experienced employees, , who constantly strive to improve the BlipTrack solution. BLIP Systems focuses on developing and selling the tracking solution BlipTrack, which today is used on roads in 15 of the 20 largest cities in Denmark and has expanded globally to include countries such as Canada, USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand and Australia. In addition, the solution is installed in over 20 international airports including Amsterdam, Toronto and Dubai and in several railway stations in Holland.