Thailand’s Department of Highway is extending its BlipTrack Wi-Fi/Bluetooth traffic data sensor solution from Blip Systems to cover additional roads in Bangkok.
The city is considered to have some of the worst traffic congestions in the world. Especially the Thailand New Year Holiday in mid-April, also called Songkran, and the international New Year holiday, 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 BlipTrack solution was chosen in 2015.
“The Department of Highway (DOH) wanted to measure and compare travel times on the Intercity Motorway, The Bangkok Expressway and neighbouring routes in Bangkok. The idea was to present real-time traffic information to road users, via DOH´s ‘Highway Traffic’ mobile app, to help them make informed decisions, when planning their trip,” explained 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 behaviour 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 was 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,” continued Nutayakul.
"BlipTrack has 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,” said 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," explained 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. 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,” said Nutayakul.