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How Bluetooth can speed up your journeys

As we move we leave digital fingerprints over the world. Smartphones, wearables, tablets and even our vehicles constantly look for networks and devices to connect to.

The technology might be complex, but the concept is fairly simple. While a Bluetooth device is turned on it tries to search for something to connect to. For example, your car looks for headsets and your phone looks for the car. These communications, even when unanswered, leave an identifier. By looking for these identifiers as they pass fixed points, we can work out a specific journey time and route taken. For example, this means that when a group of devices passes between two Bluetooth detectors a known distance apart, we can calculate the speed they have been travelling and infer the speed of traffic.

But isn't this all a bit intrusive and Big Brother? The answer lies in the same technology with itís encryption. The unique identifiers for your device are put through a one-way process (called a hashing function) which obscures your devices identity. This process is done again at each point along the journey, so your devices presence can be recognised, but can't be reversed to work out who you are and invade your privacy.

Having overcome any privacy concerns, traffic managers have a vast amount of data available for use.

This kind of data can then be fed into traffic solutions such as traffic updates and Journey Time Monitoring Systems (JTMS).

These systems are used for traffic detection on the road network to understand how quickly it's flowing and even the routes people generally take through an area. This intelligence also informs decisions on where to invest in further road infrastructure, the least obstructive time to close a road for maintenanceand how to divert traffic when incidents occur.

The Clearview Intelligence M830 Bluetooth Traffic Monitoring System is used to provide information on traffic flow across the Transport Scotland network. This system detects average journey times and provides intelligence on the use of key routes.

The system also detects deviations from the expected journey time. This can be used to alert road managers topossible incidents and can inform decisions on diversions.

More long-lasting issues can also be managed. For example, when the Forth Bridge was closed last winter, this system was used to monitor the journey times of diverted traffic in the area and inform decisions on alternative routes. This same system has been further developed to manage subsequent roadworks on the Kincardine Bridge. Data from this JTMS is now linked directly to Variable Messaging Signs to manage the flow of traffic around roadworks taking place on the bridge.

JTMS can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of congestion reducing initiatives. For example, the M830 Bluetooth Traffic Monitoring System was used in Kent to monitor the flow of traffic before and after changes were made to how drivers pay to use the Dartford Crossing. The Dart Charge was introduced to speed up traffic by removing the need for drivers to stop at barriers. Bluetooth JTMS monitored journey times before and after the change so that the effectiveness of the new Dart Charge could be evaluated.

Finally, JTMS can inform road users decisions on destinations and the mode of transport to use. When accessing a city centre it may be quicker to drive to a park and ride service and take a bus into the centre than to try to make the whole journey by car. Journey Time Monitoring Systems can inform road users on when to use an alternative way into the city by displaying the respective journey times early enough in their journey. With real-time information such as this, road users are empowered to make informed decisions about their journeys and road users in general benefit from the reduced congestion these informed decisions lead to.

The M830 Bluetooth Traffic Monitoring System facilitates accurate journey time predictions, detects congestion and can be used to suggest alternative routes or modes of transport. This results in less frustrated drivers, reduced carbon emissionsand lower noise and air pollution.

While Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems also support JTMS, Bluetooth systems are approximately 10% of the cost. This means more of the network can be covered for the same budget, thereforemore road users can benefit from the many uses of this technology.

Contact us to find out how you can benefit from the many uses of our M830 Bluetooth Traffic Monitoring System.
Uploaded 30/08/2016