You have already read about our contribution to ‘Smart Asset Management’. A project that is about reading data from vehicles. Until now, the focus has been on being able to determine the condition of the road. So that action can be taken earlier in the event of malfunctions or defects in the road surface.
We are now going one step further: together with the province of Noord-Brabant and Beijer Automotive, we are going to see whether we can link data from vehicles to the theme of road safety.
The trial started in December and will run until March, and will be carried out on the N69, section Eindhoven – Belgian border. This road is being redesigned and the project manager wishes to do this in a ‘sustainably safe’ way. Koen Steenbakkers: “At some point, the project manager knocked on SmartwayZ.NL’s door to see if we could tackle this assignment together. So the central question is: how can we make the road as safe as possible, based on the information we get from data?”. Trude Rietveld, who is involved from a road safety point of view, continues: “Now it is, for example, the case that the rows of trees on both sides of the road are in fact placed too close to the road surface. This means that if the car goes off the road, there is a higher chance of hitting a tree, which can be fatal. So you could say: on the basis of safety we remove these trees. But incidents at this location may have to do with a completely different factor. For example, that it is a long, straight and fairly monotonous stretch of road, which can make people more inclined to text and get into trouble as a result. “
This approach is new in the province. Trude: “A big difference with the current situation is that we are now going to work risk-driven – as a test. Previously, the road safety approach was mainly reactive. So based on the concrete figures of what happens on a road. It will be very interesting for us to see what comes out of this trial, and especially what we can do with it in the future.”
From SmartwayZ.NL it is the intention to eventually be able to scale up, one of the basic principles of our program. “If it turns out that we can make certain – perhaps other – choices based on data, this could of course also be interesting for other governments. Our mission at that time is therefore: to ensure that Brabant is given a permanent place in road management, broadly and perhaps at a national level. In any case, more and more government organizations are working on a data-driven basis, and this naturally fits in very well with that idea.”