Bangkok drivers’ mobile devices help ease traffic woes
Thailand’s Department of Highway has turned to high-tech sensors, which detects Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices in cars. The data provides Thailand traffic engineers with real-time traffic information, to help road users choose the fastest route and to ease congestion.
Bangkok is considered to have some of the worst rush hours in the world, particularly at the Thai New Year Holiday in mid-April, also called Songkran and the international New Year holiday, that are notorious for causing major traffic gridlocks, as millions leave the capital to celebrate the holidays with their families.
Faced with the challenges of trying to ease traffic and reduce the massive gridlocks, the Department of Highway (DOH) needed a solution to help provide live and detailed traffic information. To help manage the challenges of measuring and providing travel time and traffic flow information, and predict traffic build-up, the Danish-made BlipTrack solution was chosen.
“The Department of Highway (DOH) wanted to measure and compare travel times on the Intercity Motorway, The Bangkok Expressway and neighboring routes in Bangkok. The idea was to present real-time traffic information to road users, via DOH´s “Thailand Highway Traffic” mobile app, during these major holiday periods, to help them make informed decisions, when planning their trip,” explains JJ Nutayakul, Managing Director at New Trend Development Co., Ltd.
The mobile app, which provides information on travel times, fastest routes and other traffic information, is continually updated, in line with the actual behavior of road users. So, by considering their route and the time they depart, the motorists themselves are helping to keep the traffic moving. The BlipTrack data will ultimately help to improve the economic benefits through reduced travel times, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.
“This is the first project ever in Thailand, where this kind of technology, in the traffic field, has been implemented and it has shown great results. The client, the Department of Highway, is very pleased with how fast the installation has been, the ease of configuration and the hardware reliability.” continues JJ Nutayakul, Managing Director at New Trend Development Co., Ltd.
“BlipTrack helped Thai citizens to travel home faster during two major traffic events: Songkran and New Year holidays. The system allowed not only road users to decide route choices via travel time info online but also the Thai Highway Police to manage traffic in real-time,” says Songrit Chayanan, Director of Samut Sakhon Highway District.
“The solution works by placing BlipTrack sensors at strategic points along the roads. The sensors, covering roughly a 600 km section of highway in and around Bangkok, detect Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices, found in mobile phones and in-car audio and communication systems. By re-identifying the devices from multiple sensors, specific and accurate statistical information, such as the travel times, average speeds, dwell times and movement patterns become available,” explains Christian Bugislaus Carstens, Marketing Manager at BLIP Systems.
“The solution gives more accurate travel time data compared to spot speed data collected from radar and ANPR cameras. In addition, it is much easier and faster to deploy and comes with a 3G communication option for real-time upload of data. Furthermore, the origin/destination data is used by city engineers to gain an in-depth insight into the understanding of traffic flows and the development of traffic jams, in order to optimize the road network and reduce congestion”, ends JJ Nutayakul, Managing Director at New Trend Development Co., Ltd.
After the successful trail, DOH is planning to expand the solution and deploy 100+ sensors to cover every main highway, within a 250 km range around Bangkok.