/Flanders pioneers with personalized warnings on wrong-way driving through smartphone app
Flanders pioneers with personalized warnings on wrong-way driving through smartphone app
LEUVEN (Belgium), December 12, 2023 - Flanders’ ministers of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters and of Innovation Jo Brouns present a real-time detection system that warns wrong-way drivers as well as drivers in the vicinity, through navigation apps in the car. The system was developed by Bosch and is part of the Mobilidata program of the Flemish government and imec.
The Federal Police counts an average of 350 to 400 wrong-way drivers on highways in Belgium each year. These wrong-way drivers, often involved in head-on collisions with other drivers, can cause severe accidents.
To reduce the risk of wrong-way driving accidents, two elements are crucial: better detection of wrong-way drivers, and targeted notification of drivers in the vicinity of a wrong-way driver. Mobilidata, the program of the Flemish government and imec that develops technological traffic solutions, joined forces with the German technology company Bosch to incorporate both elements into several free smartphone applications connected to Mobilidata.
Flanders’ ministers Peeters and Brouns are extremely proud to be the first government in the world to integrate digital wrong-way driver detection into its traffic information channels.
Innovative communication channel for road users and road authorities
The Flanders Traffic Control Center distributes traffic information, including warnings for wrong-way drivers through website updates, radio messages, and notifications on the built-in navigation systems of some vehicles.
With the new solution, the exact location of a driver is taken into account, and only wrong-way drivers and people in the immediate vicinity receive a warning in their smartphone app. As a consequence, non-affected drivers will not receive irrelevant messages.
Bosch’s solution builds on a large amount of national and international qualitative traffic data, from multiple data sources, such as smartphone apps. Car manufacturer Skoda, part of the Volkswagen Group, has already integrated the technology into the infotainment system of their new models.
“Thanks to Mobilidata, we can react even better to wrong-way drivers and save lives on our roads. This innovative solution is a promising tool that alerts drivers to potential dangers and enables them to react accordingly. Given the high risks of wrong-way driving for road safety, the traffic operators and police officers in the control room of the Flanders Traffic Control Center tend to be very alert to the problem. As soon as they become aware of a wrong-way driver, they immediately start warning road users on a big scale through various communication channels", says Lydia Peeters.
As Flanders’ Minister of Innovation, I am very pleased with the results of the Mobilidata program that we are witnessing here today. This shows that innovation and digitalization are not empty words, nor are they goals in themselves. Innovation and digitalization are important for addressing societal challenges and thus creating a better situation for everyone. Increasing traffic safety through technology is a perfect example of that!”, according to Jo Brouns.
One of our main targets is to increase road safety with software-based solutions and services. By sending our wrong-way driver warnings also to the Flanders Traffic Control Center in Flanders, together we will reach a much larger group of road users on highways and reduce hazardous situations in real time for everybody.”, says Patrick Incoletti, Director of Bosch Benelux.