Denmark’s first living lab for intelligent traffic lights

The launch of Denmark’s first living lab for intelligent traffic signaling will help reverse the negative evolution of carbon dioxide emissions and congestion on the roads. Behind the initiative are the Capital Region, Gate 21 and DOLL Living Lab.

The Capital Region and Gate 21 will test and demonstrate new and more intelligent traffic lights at six intersections in Hersted Industrial Park.Photo: Peter Liljenberg

by | 22. June - 2020 | Uncategorized, Smart City

The increase in the number of cars on the roads in the metropolitan region is three times higher than the population growth within an infrastructure that has already reached its maximum capacity. This will result in more congestion, increased emissions, longer queues and according to forecasts – a doubling of the related time losses until 2035. It also contributes to the deterioration of the quality of life for the individual and for the regional context. To reverse the trend, more intelligent use of the existing infrastructure is required.

More intelligent use of the existing infrastructure

The combination of new technology and data collection to develop the intelligent traffic signal system of the future will make everyday transport and commuting easier and greener. One concrete example is that if we can save one stop for all road users, on a stretch of 20,000 cars a day – then we can reduce CO2 emissions by 1 tonne per day. day.

Denmark’s first living lab for state-of-the-art intelligent traffic signaling systems allows ITS vendors to showcase new and innovative solutions while focusing on providing consistent solutions across vendors, technologies and protocols – unique conditions that have not existed in Denmark so far. Jens Mandrup, chairman of the Capital Region’s Traffic Committee, says:

–  Denmark’s first Living Lab for intelligent traffic signaling is an important key to reducing congestion in the capital region for the benefit of citizens, the environment and business. With this project, we create the physical framework to test and develop traffic signals from across the region, which can be very different from municipality to municipality and among suppliers. Our goal is to create ‘green waves’ through traffic signals across municipal boundaries in favor of buses and bicycles in particular. Furthermore, we would like to see different companies come and try out their equipment and traffic management systems, so we can be better at predicting traffic patterns and making it more attractive to choose the bus or bike to work ”.

Promoting collaboration and coordination across authorities

The initiative also aims to promote collaboration and coordination across road authorities in the metropolitan area, laying the foundation for a joint traffic management where green waves can be coordinated and both planned and unplanned events can be handled. The location of the new living lab in DOLL – the internationally recognised testing environment in Albertslund’s industrial park – makes the regional initative a natural part of DOLL’s green national laboratory; and an important forum for the cross-border coordination of traffic management for all the municipalities and regions of the country.

– We have lacked the forum and platform that allows for the presentation of state-of-the-art solutions in traffic signaling systems and comparison across suppliers and products, says Jakob Tønnesen, senior project manager, COWI. Denmark’s first living lab for intelligent traffic signaling will initially consist of six signaling facilities in Hersted Industrial Park, all of which will test and demonstrate different solutions. Other existing installations in DOLL’s living lab also allow the Capital Region to test the integration of a large number of external data sources, such as from cars, intelligent street lamps, buses and cyclists, in order to provide information about traffic arriving to the system.

Integration of data across the urban space

– The Living Lab method has proved to be extremely effective as a tool by creating more transparency and improving the decision-making quality in a market with large, but also complex, technological potentials. Intelligent traffic signaling systems have such potential – just as we see it with intelligent street lamps. We will test and demonstrate intelligent signaling systems by utilizing and integrating data across the urban space, from e.g. buses, cars, intelligent street lights, cyclists, etc. All with the specific aim that the facilities must be more guided by needs based on the current traffic situation, says Teddy Sibbern Larsen, project manager, DOLL Living lab. In the spring, the Capital Region and Gate 21 held a series of workshops with a number of actors to identify some of the key issues and to clarify what the signal systems must be able to solve the challenges facing the region and the Danish road authorities. Right now, there is a dialogue with leading market players about who should contribute to the development of the intelligent traffic signal system of the future, in the new and unique living lab environment.

Denmark’s first living lab for intelligent traffic signaling is part of The Capital Region’s development strategy for 2020-2023. The strategy is built on four strategy tracks including mobility and three cross-cutting themes, and has the UN’s global sustainable development goal as a benchmark.

The combination of new technology and data collection will make everyday transport and commuting easier and greener.

Facts about the initiative

Grants: The Capital Region of Denmark via regional development funds
Lead Partner: Gate 21
Geographical test area: DOLL Living Lab, Albertslund Municipality
Knowledge partners & consultants: COWI, DTU, Roads Directorate, Movia, Super Bicycle Path Secretariat and others.

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