N737: The smartest road in the Netherlands runs through Twente

The N737, the road between Enschede and Deurningen, was a narrow road with sub-optimal safety and traffic flow. The road needed maintenance, and the Province of Overijssel renamed it the Innovation Route. Strukton Civiel Noord & Oost started working on the smartest road in the Netherlands, together with Innovadis and other partners.

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In short

  • The N737, the road between Enschede and Deurningen, needed maintenance. 
  • The Province of Overijssel has renamed the road to the Innovation Route. 
  • Innovadis, Strukton and other partners started working together on the smartest road in the Netherlands with many innovations.
The smartest road in the Netherlands

Innovadis is working on the N737, the smartest road in the Netherlands. The goals are improving traffic flow and safety and reducing CO2 emissions and noise pollution. Using the latest techniques will also ensure that the road is prepared for the future. 

 

Innovadis is involved in this project as a system integrator. They have linked the various technologies together to ensure that the road becomes a paragon of technical achievements. Innovadis has over 25 years of experience and is an expert in developing and integrating complex IT systems.

Combining different innovations

One of the many components of this innovative road is the traffic light controls. An interactive traffic control installation (iVRI) has been used to control the traffic lights at Frans op den Bult. This iVRI is part of the government’s Talking Traffic programme, in which more information is exchanged between systems and road users. 

 

Another innovation is that traffic around the intersection is detected through sound. This information is shared with the interactive traffic lights, together with the data from the detection loops in the road. As a result, traffic is registered and classified earlier and better, reducing the average waiting time at the traffic lights. Truck platoons (three or more trucks in a row) will also be detected and passed on to the traffic control installation (iVRI), which can then leave the green light on for an extended period so that the trucks do not have to stop. This will improve traffic flow and reduce CO2 emissions from accelerating trucks. Talking Traffic will also make it possible to provide this information to the drivers so that they can adapt their driving accordingly. 

 

Another innovation is that every street light can be dimmed or turned on and off separately. This means they can be controlled according to need. The sound detection can also detect accidents at the intersection, after which the emergency services will be alarmed automatically, and the lights will be switched to maximum strength. 

 

The concept, realised by Strukton, Innovadis, Mobidot, Ko Hartog and Sorama, among others, is called Modular Traffic Infra Solutions (Motis). The road knows where which traffic users are using vehicle detention, and it adapts to them. This happens in all sorts of ways: Motis Passing Places alerts tractor drivers to passing places when they can hear a row of cars behind the tractor. The system will also warn oncoming traffic when the tractor merges back onto the road. And finally, you have Motis Visible for social safety. It detects cyclists using an app and sound detection, after which the lights are switched on. 

 

“We are excited to have this role in the process because it allows us to show what we can do and apply the latest technologies. It also fits in with Innovadis’s mission to make the world a little better”, says director Jurgen van Kreij.

Major step towards sustainable road surfaces

Many innovative techniques are being used for the smartest road in the Netherlands. These are not only the innovations mentioned above, as the road's sustainability is also taken into account. For example, Strukton uses an asphalt that consists of 96% recycled materials: Greenfalt. “It is particularly unique that we also use Greenfalt for the top layer. This is normally not allowed, but the province has adapted the regulations after consultation with us”, says technical manager Gerben Vossebelt from Strukton. 

 

Another innovation is cement-free concrete, used for widening the road. The usual approach: widening the road using asphalt with (grass) concrete roadside paving on the sides. Strukton is now hardening the existing asphalt and widening the road with cement-free concrete in one go. This dramatically reduces CO2 emissions, and it is a significant step towards having sustainable road surfaces.

Date: 8 October 2020
Source of tekst: Innovadis
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: Innovadis