Data from intelligent, connected vehicles contribute to safer road traffic
Anonymised vehicle data are going to help road managers by providing constant insights on road conditions. This will give road managers a more frequent and complete picture of the state of maintenance of roads and of unsafe traffic situations. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will be working with Mercedes-Benz to ensure that anonymous information from vehicles will be shared with all Dutch road managers over the next two years.
These plans will be made public at Intertraffic Amsterdam on 29 March 2022.
Minister Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management): "At the moment we collect information about the state of our roads through for example non-movable sensors and road inspectors. Because there is no continuous measurement, road managers do not have an up-to-date picture of all locations. This situation can be remedied by using information from passenger cars. Several thousand Mercedes-Benz passenger cars drive past countless locations every day, which means that the anonymised information from these vehicles can inform road managers more quickly about the condition of the road. That is why I find this cooperation a valuable addition. In the next two years, all Dutch road managers will be able to use the information."
Alert in the event of slippery conditions or potholes
The sensors that are now helping drivers to drive comfortably and safely can also be utilised to monitor road surface quality. Is it slippery? Are traffic signs and road markings still clearly visible? Is the road surface damaged or are drivers frequently crossing a solid line at a certain point?
Road managers can use this anonymised information to schedule road maintenance. They are better able to manage maintenance contractors and gritting teams efficiently, for instance. In the end, the quick overview of the road situation will help to improve road safety for all road users.
Road manager sees and organises
If road managers (Rijkswaterstaat, regional or local governments) join the 'Road Monitor' initiative, they can see the anonymised data on their roads on a dashboard. That indicates, for example, that “Ten vehicles detected a pothole here yesterday". The dashboard combines vehicle information with public data such as weather and traffic accidents.
Road Monitor provides road managers with a picture of damage or wear more quickly, which is expected to make it possible to remedy this more efficiently. This allows maintenance to be scheduled, which prevents or even postpones major maintenance, because minor damage is repaired at an earlier stage. This will not only make the road safer for road users, it will also help prevent unexpected disruptions.
Investment by the national government
It has been agreed with Mercedes-Benz that this joint programme will be entered into for two years. During that period, the Ministry, Mercedes-Benz and the road managers who have joined the programme will work in close collaboration in order to ensure the successful implementation of Road Monitor. This involves questions such as: Is the information sufficiently detailed and reliable? How can this information best be shared with road managers? What does this mean for work processes? Does it generate sufficient results?
The dashboard will be financed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for a period of two years. All road managers can use the information free of charge during this period. They can subscribe through www.roadmonitor.nl. At the end of 2023, the situation will be reviewed and the added value of these data will be evaluated.