King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, visited the Traffic Control Center for Smart Mobility innovations in Helmond on Tuesday June 9th. Together with Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Schultz van Haegen, he was introduced to the mobility solutions of Simacan.
Theme of the king’s visit was ‘innovative with mobility’. During the meeting, Rob Schuurbiers and Felix Faassen had the opportunity to present Simacan Traffic Center to the king and the minister. The traffic controllers in Helmond are given an overview of the real-time traffic situation in Simacan’s online application. It brings together mobility data from a whole range of public and private sources.
Smart mobility services in practice
The traffic controllers are very positive about the way in which they can work with a combination of data sources in Simacan Traffic Center. It gives them one easy-to-use overview of information about road closures (via the Dutch National Data Warehouse for Traffic Information), matrix signs (via Rijkswaterstaat), and travel speeds (via TomTom). The data covers a country-wide view which can be used to monitor the flow and safety of traffic. Analysis can be done up to a local level which includes regional and city roads. This information is very useful for operations like scheduling deviations.
Simacan Traffic Center is one of the smart mobility services that is tested in Helmond in the work-field. Innovation is an important means in the effort to diminish congestions. In order to make efficient use of the existing infrastructure, the government and the business world have combined forces.
Benefit for drivers
Rob Schuurbiers, CEO of Simacan, explained what these developments mean for drivers. The web-based solution of Simacan is not exclusively available for government organizations. Exactly the same overview with traffic data that the king and the minister watched during their visit in the traffic control center, is also operational in commercial companies. One example is ANWB, the Dutch travellers’ association. They collect traffic information from the richness of provided sources to inform consumers about traffic jams.
Sharing logistic data
Besides private drivers, big logistic enterprises also utilize the capacity of the road network. Companies like Ahold and PostNL have an extensive logistic operation. They view exactly the same traffic data as do ANWB and the Helmond traffic control center. In the operation rooms of Ahold and PostNL, planners have all the traffic information and truck realization data at their disposal. In order to facilitate this, Simacan Control Tower connects the existing traffic sources with the GPS data from board computers in trucks. Twenty-five transporters actively share their data with Ahold Transport to make this possible. The security and confidentiality of the data is carefully vouched for in this unique cooperation.
Planners who work for the shippers and transporters share their information about the logistic execution. They share with each other through Simacan’s cooperative software. Moreover, the planning departments are in direct contact with traffic control centers. An act from the traffic controller, such as the closure of a lane, is immediately visible for the logistic planners in Simacan Control Tower.
Innovative mobility solutions
The real-time data from government and private companies is immediately visualized and shared. It provides for live examples for policy makers and business strategists, explained Rob Schuurbiers of Simacan. They offer a rich source of information to judge the opportunities of innovative solutions as city hubs, electric cars and platooning.
Besides the innovative traffic control center, King Willem-Alexander and Minister Schultz van Haegen also visited the Automotive Campus. On this campus, researchers, engineers, vendors and testers meet. Together they work on intelligent transport systems. The minister and the king made a short test ride in a driverless car.
The visit of King Willem-Alexander with the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment is part of a whole course of visits. During these appointments, different ministers introduce the king to an important aspect of their department’s work terrain.