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Rush through the rush hour with Bluetooth

Photo: Susanne Krogh-Hansen

​The rush hour in Copenhagen

By monitoring traffic in four Danish cities, COWI now plans to relieve intercity traffic-delays simply by using the driver as an instrument. One year from now our own satnav-systems and smartphones will get us faster through the rush hour.

The box itself is no bigger than a carton of milk, but this small box could have a great significance to the future of our traffic lights. This little box has the ability to register the time it takes the average car to make a left or right turn at an intersection. It does so via the driver’s Satnav-systems and smartphones.

In several Danish cities like Copenhagen, Aalborg and Randers, the data collected have shown that our current structure for regulating traffic in cities is far from sufficient. With the help from this little box, COWI has been able to uncover that the current traffic lights are not up to date with the traffic situations of today.

Chief Specialist for Traffic Planning, Jonas Olesen, is surprised by the result.

“It took us by surprise, how big a difference more efficient regulation of traffic lights actually has on traffic.”

A matter of seconds

One of the things the boxes have discovered is that the rush hour occurs at different times in different cities, and that it varies from one day to the next. On Mondays, rush hour may last for 30 minutes, and the next day it will last for well over two hours.

“With the data we now have, we can program our traffic lights to be much more efficient whenever the rush hour sets in. Our goal is to make traffic run as smoothly as possible and eliminate traffic delays as much as we can. With the help of these new data, we can make the overall traffic systems a lot more efficient by simply upgrading our intersection traffic lights, instead of spending millions on new roads.”

Just around the corner

Jonas Olesen expects that the first Bluetooth-intersections could become a reality in Denmark within the next year. The plan is to expand the project to all countries where COWI operate, but right here and now the next objectives are Norway and Sweden.

COWIs Bluetooth-system City Sense is based on hardware and software from Blip Systems A/S

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016