Exercise is hypnotic. Invited to share its data as part of a 2010 European directive on the implementation of intelligent transport systems, the National Road Administration has started putting 24 mobility data sets online. Including the counting of vehicles on motorways, state roads, lanes and cycle paths. Day after day, these veins feed the heart of the Luxembourg economy.
For example, last April 20,000 cars arrived from France via the motorway from Thionville and Metz, 7,818 via Rodange, 6,224 via Esch and 5,337 via Frisange. The monthly average hides much more complicated realities to grasp: the road from Roussy to Frisange is the one that bears the greatest variations, up to + 30%; but the Belgians, who represent only 23.39% of all cross-border commuters, set a new record, at 28,541 cars on the motorway from Arlon on 2 April, for an average of nearly 21,000 cars; the Germans, of whom 50,000 come every day to work in the Grand Duchy, are only 10,426 who have taken the main road of their country.
The Cita of all the fights
As the data is superimposed on a map of the country, difficulties emerge in imagining a common traffic management system. Especially since it is necessary to integrate the data of the railway and its imposing dangers, and those of transport by truck, not to forget the once opportunistic crossings of tourists from the north to the south of Europe, attracted by the cheapest fuel price, look for to force the adoption of carpooling or public transport, invite people to park outside the capital in park and rides or even sprinkle the whole with weather conditions. Suffice it to say that even with 160 kilometers of motorways, 20 tunnels, 600 cameras and 200,000 surveillance equipment, the Cita (Control and Information of Traffic on Motorways) is not ready to meet modern expectations. And it probably never will be, despite his tireless work to make life easier for “travelers”.
In his latest National Mobility Plan, the Minister of Mobility, Francois Bausch, no longer even evokes a brainstorming. In his office, which overlooks both the airport and all the main highways, Minister Déi Gréng had to start all over again. Or how to move from a catch-up policy as net job creation occurs to an anticipation policy. Before dreaming of self-driving cars, flying cars or the Hyperloop, the Minister is moving with small touches towards various parking management and traffic control systems (with, for example, cameras that can sometimes find drivers in violation), providing information in real time, or even providing mobility solutions to go from point A to point B, whatever the means of transport or the communication infrastructure between vehicles.
“There are many different systems on the market for traffic management in the broad sense of the term, motor vehicles or not,” explains Sebastien Faye, head of the IT department for innovative services at List (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology). “If we talk, for example, of traffic light management, many cities have been using, and have been using for some time, traffic counting systems, using induction loops and connected to traffic light control interfaces or other types of sensors. This data is used to create hourly traffic light plans, sometimes with the possibility of extending the stages of the green light or prioritizing lanes or vehicle types (eg buses or special vehicles). Solutions have also emerged that use communication between vehicles and infrastructure, as well as new types of sensors to detect the type of vehicles or possibly the number of people waiting at the stop. This requires artificial intelligence and reliable connectivity (for example 5G) to be able to quickly acquire, analyze and decide what action to take. These systems are increasingly using prediction and learning mechanisms to anticipate traffic spikes or react to incidents. ”
The consideration of new modes of transport, more flexible than the existing ones, is also fundamental.
“Research-driven systems, such as the use of digital twins, which mix physical and digital elements, as well as these traffic management systems are being tested without uniform adoption across cities and countries,” he adds. Future challenges will be to make these interoperable systems more resilient to the potential problems encountered today (need for reliable and responsive networks, anticipation and harmonized data governance). The consideration of new modes of transport, more flexible than the existing ones, is also fundamental ”.
This article was written for the revised edition of Paperjam of November 2022 published October 26, 2022. Magazine content is produced exclusively for the magazine. It is published on the site to contribute to the complete Paperjam archive.
Is your company a member of the Paperjam Club? You can apply for a subscription in your name. Tell us away [email protected]