The need of Maintenance at our highways and roads (road works) together with the growing amount of traffic lead to enlarged travel times. Infrastructural obstructions at the area of road works also lead to increased risk of crashes.
At the moment the only way to use a completely automated system for traffic data collection and traffic control is a permanently installed system. Implementing such a system costs a lot of money and is not possible for any temporary usage. Because of that only a very small part of the highway system is equipped with such systems. For temporary usage at infrastructural constrictions there is no real time system on the market right now.
All other possibilities, to provide information for the driver, are static traffic signs, with which it is not possible to include actual traffic data like travel time or traffic jam warnings (Except for generally warnings like: “Possible Queues ahead!”). Road users do not get travel time information through constricted sections of the highway, which is especially negative for business traffic times.
The concept of “ROBBIE” is to build up an infrastructure independent and autonomous system, which can be implemented mobile and without additional constructional effort, in all areas that suffer obstruction of traffic like construction sites or special events. Another mayor advantage compared to permanent installed systems is that the system shall be also suitable for temporary use, which makes it a quickly available mobile system.
The system “ROBBIE” works with real time traffic data. With “ROBBIE” it is possible to collect important traffic data, send it to a Server by wireless communication and calculates driver relevant traffic information from it. Variable message signs display this information for the driver.
The basis of the technical system is vehicle identification via video and radar systems. The data communication sensor to server and server to variable-message-sign works wireless. With suitable algorithms travel times, traffic intensity and possible traffic jam length can be calculated. Further advantages are the possibility of a more precise arrival time planning as well as using an alternative route or transportation system in case of traffic jam. In areas of lane reductions, the amount of traffic, that is able to pass the lane reduction, can be increased by displaying the optimal driving speed for this section of the road. Additionally it is possible to calculate traffic jam length with the collected data. It is easier for road users to handle traffic jams when they at least know about it. All in all “ROBBIE” provides real time travel-time information for the driver, together with enlarged traffic flow rate and improved safety at points of constriction.
The ROBBIE system was developed in the period June 2008 to November 2009. The test of the system took place on the motorway A 10 from spring 2009. The system components have been tested successfully in trial operation. It could be recorded and analyzed data
- on traffic flows and congestions in construction areas,
- changes in the approach speeds and lane occupancy at different traffic volumes,
- data on the capacity
Need for improvement was noted in the area of detection systems, power supply, mobile data transmission, and in the legibility of the information board.