The Netherlands, Germany and Austria to use new technology to improve traffic flow on motorways

The Netherlands, German and Austria will be using new technology to improve traffic flow and road safety on motorways in the corridor between Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Vienna. The new traffic systems use innovative technology for vehicles to communicate with one another, and for communicating between the roadside and individual vehicles. 

In Luxembourg today, Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure & the Environment), her German colleague Peter Ramsauer and Doris Bures, Austrian Minister of Transport, Innovation & Technology, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the launch of this cross-border project. This is the first step in the European roll-out of intelligent  transport systems that ensure that motorists are informed individually about the current situation on the road via in-car technology.

The German-Dutch-Austrian project is focused on the use of technologies that warn drivers, via an onboard device, that they are approaching road works. This allows drivers the time to take an alternative route or to reduce speed, which is not only good for road safety but also for the flow of traffic. In addition, cars in the corridor that are fitted with new, in-car equipment can pass on current road traffic information to traffic control centres. Using the exact location of the cars, traffic control centres immediately know, for example,  that there is a tailback somewhere or that it is raining or misty somewhere else.

On the Dutch side, Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment) is involved in the preparations for the introduction of the new approach. Under the leadership of Germany, the three countries are collaborating with the automotive industry and service providers. The goal of all concerned is to have the system functioning in the corridor in 2016.

Minister Schultz van Haegen is glad that the starting signal for the collaborative project has been given: “The application of smart technologies for traffic management and to provide up-to-date personal travel information for motorists opens up significant opportunities for improving mobility. Technological developments are moving at a fast pace. There is increasingly more interaction being created between individual cars and the roadside. New transport systems are enabling us to inform drivers better and to manage traffic flows more efficiently. Smart technologies are making travel by road more comfortable, safer and cleaner.”

The project of the three countries is in line with the Dutch approach to the better utilisation of  infrastructure and the use of innovation. A number of trials testing the new travel information and traffic management technology are underway in the Netherlands. In the second half of 2013, the minister will announce the steps she wants to take regarding the application of promising technologies.

Minister Schultz: “I would like to see innovative systems for travel information and traffic management available on a large scale. This would benefit road users, road authorities and the economy alike. Dutch market parties’ successful solutions to mobility problems can also be used throughout Europe and the rest of the world.”