A consortium of Belgian businesses and Flemish authorities is working on solutions to make the transport network safer and more sustainable in the next three years. The budget for the project is €1,8 million and the consortium can count on support from the European Commission. Baptized CITRUS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport System for Trucks), the goal of the project is to increase road safety on Belgian motorways and roads, reduce CO2 emission and improve overall mobility. Additionally, a Companion App will be distributing safety warnings.
Battling congestion together
Efficient road management is vital. Currently, congestion costs € 10.58 per vehicle per hour, causing a high amount of CO2 emission, a lot of stress and often unsafe situations. As a response to the call by the European Commission in 2015, Be-Mobile and partners submitted a subdisdy file that ought to contribute to a more efficient use of the transport network through more intelligent and more sustainable transport systems. To this end, the European Commission freed up 70 million euro for projects that work on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on the roads, of which €1,8 Million for CITRUS. It focuses on the interaction between the (freight) vehicle, the supply chain and traffic management infrastructure using existing telecommunication networks.
On the road towards intelligent transport systems
For this project, the Flemish government and Belgian private companies have been working together since October 2016 to build on a safer, more efficient and more sustainable traffic network. Be-Mobile (expert in smart mobility) and the Flemish Government (together with the Department for Mobility and Public Works and the Roads and Traffic Agency) work together to collect, process and use mobility data in an efficient way.
Consultancy agency Transport & Mobility Leuven (TML) will provide monitoring and evaluation support. The rest of the consortium is made up of businesses that will test the applications in practice. This concerns on the one hand Colruyt Group and on the other hand the Port of Zeebrugge and Havenbedrijf Antwerpen, which will encourage the use of the different solutions amongst the concerned companies located at the harbour.
Safer, more sustainable and faster mobility for freight transport through ‘Companion App’
CITRUS aims to make the transport network safer and more sustainable by means of fast, efficient and effective sharing of traffic information. To this end, an application will be developed to send alerts to truck drivers who are approaching an incident (congestion, roadworks, stationary vehicle, etc.). This will significantly decrease the number of rear-end collisions and road service area collisions.
The intelligent control of traffic lights based on real-time traffic information (green wave principle) is also part of the options. Approaching drivers are informed of the optimal speed they need to drive in order to get green lights. Moreover, traffic lights could be controlled dynamically based on the real-time traffic flows. The traffic lights on the N203a in Halle (connecting the R0 and E429) will be used as a pilot site together with Colruyt Group.
Also part of the project is the planning of deliveries avoiding congested areas. Colruyt Group's dispatching activities will be optimised based on real-time traffic information and on more efficient communication with drivers.
The first tests for the three applications (app, green waves and real-time dispatching) will take place by the end of this year and the first results are expected in 2018. If these results are successful, then recommendations can be made to Europe and national/regional government authorities for the purpose of larger-scale implementation.
Together with our partners, Be-Mobile is working on new mobility in which the borders between roads, traffic signs and vehicles are removed. Our technology ensures that all vehicles communicate with each other, the signs alongside the road, the sensors in the road surface, which truly allows us to make a difference in terms of road safety and traffic flow.
Jan Cools, CEO Be-Mobile