New traffic information system to assist drivers and road-workers

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At the initiative of the Lithuanian Road Administration, the intelligent engineering solutions company Fima in association with partners will deploy a Traffic Information System across Lithuania. Funded with EU financial resources, the Traffic Information System will be providing up-to-date information about situation on national roads, ranging from data to drivers on traffic hold-up due to roadwork at certain sections of roads, limited-visibility fogged-up areas, to information to road-workers regarding snowed-in strips of roads that require additional cleaning.

In the words of Rokas Šlekys, the Director of Fima Solutions Department, the project will take roughly one year to implement and will progress in several stages. “First off, we will install 43 roadside automatic weather stations across Lithuania, equipped with hardware to monitor the weather conditions along with traffic intensity meters. The technology deployed in these facilities will enable accurate measurement of the amount of water, ice and snow on the road. On top of that, the hardware will take air temperature and measure other parameters,” says Rokas Šlekys.

This stage will be followed by the programming of the Traffic Information System - its  database. This task will be carried out by Affecto Lietuva, the project partner of the consortium with Fima. The system will integrate Fima’s stations and 48 other stations that have already been deployed in different regions of the country.

The final phase will involve the development of an Internet website where everyone interested will be able to see data from the automatic weather stations. This information will be filled in with reports from meteorologists, roadwork and other services. It will be available to driving cars in real-time through GPS, radio and television.

The system is expected to help cutting down the number of traffic accidents. According to the Lithuanian Road Administration, as a result of roadside automatic weather stations that have been deployed earlier, the maintenance of roads in the wintertime improved and the rate of accidents on highways went down by 7 per cent, the number of people killed dropping by 25 per cent and those injured – by 21 per cent.

As the system allows input of additional data on roadwork, traffic collisions, it will assist in choosing an optimal route based on the actual traffic conditions. This will help bringing down losses caused by traffic disturbances as well as environmental pollution.

Although the system will be operational all year round, it will be most useful when it comes to collecting and analysing information in winter, when the relevant services need to be promptly updated on road pavement status and weather conditions.