Sophisticated Danish technology, deployed and operated by Beca, is now being used by the New Zealand government to demonstrate the benefits of investment in New Zealand’s transportation network.
The system, Imported from Blip Systems in Denmark, involves tracking anonymous Bluetooth devices such as cell phones, headsets, in car navigation systems, as they travel in New Zealand, and using this information to identify travel times and route preference. The Bluetooth Address´ collected is encrypted in the sensor, making it impossible to relate the Bluetooth address of a device to an individual.
The ongoing collaboration between Beca and Blip Systems has led to the system being deployed across three regions in New Zealand (Auckland, Waikato and Wellington), with coverage expected to expand further in 2013.
Recent press releases by the New Zealand Transport Agency (the NZTA) have used information from the system to successfully demonstrate the travel savings provided by the newly completed $US 160m Te Rapa bypass.
The NZTA’s, Waikato Expressway Principal Project Manager, Richard Young says:
“We’re extremely pleased with the final result. The new road is delivering real time savings for all motorists, along with making the journey safer. In total it takes about seven minutes off commuters’ journey each day. That is a significant time saving and also a saving on fuel costs.”
The Te Rapa Bypass project is the first of a planned $US 2 billion investment in the Waikato region’s transportation network over the next eight years. The BlipTrack solution has been established in advance of these projects and will continue to assess the benefits of each of these projects as they are completed. The BlipTrack™ solution has been established in advance of these projects and will continue to assess the benefits of each of these projects as they are completed.
The Waikato network uses an initial nine BlipTrack roadside mounted sensors, to monitor travel times and route choices across the Waikato Region, with more units being added as new sections of road are opened.
The system has also been used to demonstrate the value of investment in other parts of the country, including following the completion of the $US 250m Victoria Park Tunnel in Auckland.
Beca has also deployed BlipTrack to monitor the behaviour of pedestrians — notably at Auckland Airport, where the solution has been online since 2010. The system provides a good understanding of passenger delays encountered during heavy passenger loading, which helped inform operational decisions for the airport while Auckland was hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the largest international sporting event of 2011.
Beca is a market leader in engineering, technology and analytical services across the Asia-Pacific. Senior Transportation Analyst, Chris Vallyon has been pleased with the performance of the BlipTrack product: “The Bluetooth tracking technology provided by Blip Systems provides a significant addition to the suite of technologies available to assist New Zealanders in understanding the performance of their assets and infrastructure. The hardware has proven to be robust enough to survive New Zealand’s volatile weather conditions, and the vendors have been proactive and efficient in creating a highly flexible matching system and then adapting it to suit our specific requirements. We’re very satisfied with the service we’ve received to date.”