The black panels that tell motorists about accidents, queues or road works have become a familiar sight on our motorways since they were introduced in 2002. The technology involved has made huge progress since then. Minister Ben Weyts wants to go along with this development and send traffic information via drivers’ smartphones or the internal applications in the vehicle. Messages such as ‘Warning: ambulance approaching’ or ‘Queue 500 m ahead’ would then become commonplace.
In this context, 2019 will see the start of a pilot project known as SOCRATES2.0 aimed at sharing traffic data in Antwerp. The technical aspects are in the hands of Proximus subsidiary Be-Mobile, the Dutch traffic information app Flitsmeister and BMW Group.
Mobility expert Kris Peeters has comments to make about Weyts’ plans. In a previous article in the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, he pointed to other, simpler solutions. “In other countries, for instance, drivers themselves create a middle lane for ambulances.”
The introduction of interactive means of communication is intended to benefit road safety. But the whole point is to choose solutions that do not distract drivers’ attention from the road. Moreover, until further notice the dynamic panels will remain in place alongside the new communication system.
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