DriveLive initiative saves drivers time and money

DriveLive initiative saves drivers time and money

The New Zealand Transport Agency is using high-tech bluetooth and WIFI sensors that collect and share live traffic information to help drivers plan ahead and work out the best time to travel.

A network of BlipTrack sensors, from Denmark-based BLIP Systems, have been installed by the NZTA on roads around Auckland International Airport, Kãpiti, Tauranga, and parts of the Bay of Plenty.

These sensors record in real-time, journey times, and queue wait times from sites around the North Island of New Zealand.

The information is streamed live to a dedicated mobile website called DriveLive which advises people how long journeys are currently taking on selected key routes.

In some places the information is also displayed to the drivers on variable message signs.

The solution works by detecting motorists driving with a Bluetooth or WiFi device, such as in hands-free systems and mobile phones. When a vehicle with an activated Bluetooth or WiFi device passes the sensors, its anonymous ID, also called a MAC address, is recorded, encrypted and time-stamped.

By combining and analysing the data collected by all sensors, an accurate picture about each road user, such as their travel times, dwell times and movement patterns are provided.

The information can be used to inform and warn about queues and delays, identify problem areas, evaluate and calibrate traffic signals, provide information on the capacity of existing roads, and detect changes in traffic patterns.

NZTA Bay of Plenty journey manager, Nigel D’Ath says the DriveLive initiative will help people to plan ahead and work out the best time to travel, and what time they are likely to arrive at their destination.

“People have told us that being unable to predict journey times with certainty is one of their biggest frustrations, resulting in lost time and productivity. The DriveLive website will provide people with live information to help them make smarter travel choices and hopefully save time each day,”says D’Ath.

The BlipTrack sensors also measure travel time savings and reliability improvements of projects such as the Waikato Expressway.

To measure the effectiveness of the new Expressway, sensors recorded traffic flows prior to its opening and after opening. Based on this large data set it was possible to demonstrate significant journey time savings annually of $7.6m to the economy.

The solution is also deployed at Auckland Airport to monitor the behaviour of travellers, optimise operation and improve the passenger experience.

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