HERE teams up with Belgium to help improve road safety

Philip Barker
Kettering 52° 23' 55.752" N, -0° 43' 32.988" E

Following on from road safety partnerships around Europe, the Flemish Department of Mobility and Public Works has teamed up with HERE to deploy a co-operative intelligent transport system (C-ITS) in Belgium to help cut traffic and improve road safety.

The partnership uses HERE location platform technology to deliver targeted safety alert information to drivers on upcoming road obstacles, traffic jams, crashes and extreme weather conditions.

As with the C-ITS trial in Finland, the deployment will see HERE rolling out location services as part of a mobile app for smartphone users on a bigger scale, letting drivers share information and effectively warn other drivers of obstacles on the roads ahead.

While the HERE solution will initially use smartphones to generate and distribute safety messages, the same architecture could also harness real-time information generated automatically by the on-board sensors of connected cars, sharing and accessing information without the need for smartphones.

Drivers will be warned about slow or stationary vehicles, hazardous locations, road works, severe weather and wide-moving traffic jams, with other information including speed advisories and messages with details of road conditions, unprotected accident areas and areas with reduced visibility.

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Mika Rytkönen, head of business development at HERE, explains:

“With these kind of solutions we believe that we can make journeys safer and save lives. We can also make journeys more sustainable and enjoyable, but the key thing is bringing safety to the roads.”

HERE will be able to gather precise data on what’s happening on the roads, sharing it in real-time with the Antwerp Traffic Management Centre, helping to provide an even more comprehensive overview to help reduce congestion and improve road safety.

“If the weather is changing rapidly, the traffic management system can warn people to watch for slippery roads, bad weather or storms,” adds Mika. “There’s a contextual element to it, too, so that only people in or going to the area will get the warning, so if you’re driving to Brussels you don’t get messages for what’s happening in Antwerp.”

The Belgium deployment is a part of the European Commission’s C-ROADS Deployment Platform, which serves as a framework for countries to develop C-ITS projects that ensure cross-border interoperability for all road users. It’s a project that boosts collaboration between public and private sectors, with an increase in road safety and efficiency one of the biggest gains.

“We’re commited to making roads safer,” concludes Mika, “and when you’re crossing a border in future you need to be able to access similar services and announcements in different countries to help make your journey as safe and efficient as possible.”

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