Denmark is streets ahead when it comes to smart roads

By RELAXNEWS | 6 July 2015

COPENHAGEN: Danish holidaymakers planning a roadtrip this summer may find that the journey is less stressful and gridlocked than usual. That's because Denmark has just become the first country to adopt GPS probe data to monitor traffic and congestion levels on a national scale.

The system, provided by INRIX, allows the Danish Road Directive to track the real-time movement of vehicles on a road network stretching 4000km, meaning that it can alert drivers immediately to unexpected congestion, accidents or other road problems, as well as more effectively deploy its own recourses.

However, what makes the system truly smart is that it doesn't use thousands of sensors embedded along the road surface. Instead, it tracks the movement of connected cars, fleet and commercial vehicles and even devices like smartphones and satnav systems that run INRIX's technology.

Director of Traffic Management at Danish Road Directorate, Charlotte Vithen, said "By using INRIX's expertise in real-time data and through deploying this technology across our entire road network, we will be able to detect extraordinary traffic queues quicker, issue earlier warnings of congestion and improve the way we manage road incidents to achieve a smoother flow of traffic across Denmark."

The Danish Road Directive has been putting the technology through its paces for 10 years as the organization charged with maintaining Denmark's state-owned roads. And although they amount to just 5percent of all roads in the country, they carry 45percent of all road traffic in Denmark.

"INRIX is excited by this partnership and committed to helping the Danish Road Directorate manage its national road network effectively, improve interurban mobility and provide high quality, timely information to individual travellers, cities and businesses across the country," said Bryan Mistele, CEO, INRIX. "We also see this as an opportunity to showcase best practice and how technology innovation can improve urban mobility in other countries and cities across Europe and the rest of the world."

The Danes are not alone in examining the effectives of using cars, rather than sensors to report on traffic flows and road conditions. In Sweden, Volvo is working with the local government in Gothenburg to relay information about icy conditions and road surface issues encountered by its connected cars. And in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover is examining ways of sharing data about potholes, broken drains and other problems detected by its cars' sensors with the local authorities.