Wireless monitoring of our road network: Current application and future opportunity Uncovering the potential of wireless sensing

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1 Wireless monitoring of our road network: Current application and future opportunity Uncovering the potential of wireless sensing Cambridge Wireless Sensing SIG Dr Adam Guy MBA 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

2 Objectives To introduce the Highways Agency To introduce traffic monitoring technology To provide a case study covering the commercial drivers for, and restraints on, the move to a wireless solution To look to the future 2 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

3 Situation: Highways Agency The Highways Agency is responsible for England s Strategic Road Network Keeping goods and people moving around the country is critical to the economy The Highways Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport responsible for managing the Strategic Road Network England s motorways and major A-roads Successfully managing this network requires high-quality traffic information for: Providing travel information to the public Helping the Agency plan its response to incidents Helping the Agency decide when to implement roadworks Supporting the Agency in future scheme planning Monitoring congestion and the performance of the Agency 3 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

4 Situation: Wireless traffic monitoring Gathering high quality traffic information There are two primary means of monitoring traffic Loop based sites Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) In addition, GPS and mobile phone tracking is growing in importance 4 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

5 Situation: Wireless traffic monitoring The Highways Agency has a variety of traffic monitoring systems, and a mix of telemetry solutions A mix of fibre, copper and wireless telemetry, along with man-in-a-van was used to transmit the data back for central processing ANPR TAME, NTCC & MIDAS Loops HA Traffic Officers Signs & Signals Emergency Roadside Telephones Telephony CCTV There appeared to be a clear opportunity to remove the man and his van 5 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

6 Key question: Could switching to wireless telemetry bring benefits? 6 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

7 Answer: Wireless traffic monitoring Yes, but Drivers Cost savings due to reduced numbers of site visits to collect data Health and safety improvements due to less site visits to the roadside Improved speed of data delivery Reduced data loss as a result of more rapid fault fixing Restraints Regular maintenance, and hence site visits, would still be required No specific evidence of injury or death over many years of data collection Data gathered by network primarily used for historic performance analysis High bandwidth fibre is required in many places in any case GPS and mobile phone based monitoring solutions are quickly gaining traction Above all, all, perceived as as high risk risk 7 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

8 Learning points: Wireless traffic monitoring The case was successfully made to upgrade to wireless telemetry because we were able to: Demonstrate cost savings Need to minimise site visits and maintenance Need to renew contracts once the new technology was in place Deliver data rapidly But this needed to be balanced against the transmission costs Show that data loss would be minimised Through rapid detection, reporting and hence rectification of sensor faults The upgrade work has has now been successfully completed 8 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

9 The future The future needs, trends and enablers Needs More widespread monitoring technology across the network Cutting congestion through rapid identification of incidents on the network Adaption to fiscal constraint Trends and enablers The rise of personal navigation devices and GPS appears to provide a ready source of high quality traffic data But this is dependent on an appropriate business model Increasing bandwidth of mobile phone networks 3G, HSDPA and 4G Wireless mesh networks 9 15 December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

10 In summary Even in what on the surface appeared to be a clear-cut opportunity for applying wireless technology, the business rationale was less straightforward Competition from the do-nothing option New solutions that may make the old ones obsolete appear to be round the corner Competition against using existing technology solutions If fibre for CCTV is required in any case, why implement a wireless solution? How to realise the predicted cost savings What more can wireless technology bring to to traffic monitoring? December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

11 Contact details: Cambridge Consultants Ltd Cambridge Consultants Inc Science Park, Milton Road 101 Main Street Cambridge, CB4 0DW Cambridge MA England USA Tel: +44(0) Tel: Fax: +44(0) Fax: Registered No England Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Cambridge Consultants Inc. All rights reserved December 2009 SandBI-P-001 v1.0

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