With around 25,000 visitors expected from 140 countries, Intertraffic Amsterdam is unquestionably the world’s largest and best-attended exhibition for the traffic, parking and highways infrastructure sectors. Given that it also presents the biggest stage globally for unveiling the state-of-the-art in mobility solutions, the event’s opening ceremony on Tuesday 25 March 2014 presented the ideal platform for Intertraffic organisers to reveal the winners of the 2014 Intertraffic Innovation Awards. During the inauguration, these coveted industry accolades were announced in five separate categories – ITS/Traffic Management, Parking, Safety, Smart Mobility and Infrastructure – while the overall winner of the 2014 Intertraffic Innovation Award was also revealed.
Walking away with not only the Intertraffic Innovation Award in the Smart Mobility category, HR Groep Traffic & Signing was additionally named as the ‘overall winner’ for its MB Track & Trace solution (Stand 04.306) – a ready-to-deploy bicycle parking/facility management solution that has the potential to enhance the urban fabric but was also regarded by the jury to be a vital enabler in promoting a more sustainable form of transportation. “Innovations that embrace cycling in our cities and could have subsequent positive impacts on health, congestion mitigation, reduced traffic pollution and more should be lauded,” commented jury chairman Dr Peter van der Knaap, managing director of SWOV – the Dutch National Road Safety Research Institute. The jury particularly commended the simplicity of the user interface, the intelligent technologies adopted from other areas of the parking and traffic management industries, as well as the aesthetically designed bicycle racks themselves. A trial is currently underway in Rotterdam.
The winner of the Parking category was SCANaCAR’s Parking Space Classifier (Stand 03.228). This vehicle-mounted system not only aids the efficient enforcement of parking rules and regulations but also simultaneously has the capability to accurately detect (via machine vision technologies) occupied and empty parking spaces on-street and feed that data (with accurate GPS positioning) into parking management systems to be disseminated to users as parking availability information. Already being rolled out in the City of Amsterdam, where cost savings of 40% have been reported over previous on-street human enforcement strategies, van der Knaap particularly cited the solution’s potential in an era of digital parking. “Reliable information about barrier-controlled car parks is already available and being incorporated into in-car navigation systems – the Parking Space Classifier could help achieve the same thing for on-street parking availability,” he said. “Cities are increasingly embracing intelligent parking management solutions via embedded technologies, but this would seem a sensible, non-invasive alternative.”
The Intertraffic Innovation Award for Safety went to CIDRO for its reinforced concrete-based CROSSAFE road culvert end protection system (Stand 05.442). “We were impressed especially by the modularity and simplicity of the design, which enables easy installation in these often high-risk areas of the road network,” advised van der Knaap. “In its presentation, the company showed us footage of dynamic crash tests with and without the CROSSAFE system and I would urge any authority looking to mitigate the severity of run-off-road crashes against road culverts to take a look at how this simple system has the potential to deliver huge safety benefits.”
A Special Jury Award was also announced for TNO for its role in the development of an external airbag to mitigate injury to cyclists (Stand 09.106B). As part of the SaveCAP program, the solution caught the eye of the jury – a passive safety development for the automotive industry that could have a positive impact on cyclist safety in the future – and for that reason, it was decided to give this potential life-saver a special mention.
The ITS/Traffic Management category – featuring three very different, diverse contenders – was the most hotly debated for the jury. Ultimately, the Temporary Solar Traffic Light from Trafic Technologie Systeme came out on top (Stand 05.128A). The solar-powered traffic signal for temporary roadworks areas features dynamic features that are traditionally only found on more permanent installations. “In the past, winners of this category have been more holistic, citywide and software-based solutions – traffic management in the sky,” said van der Knaap. “But the Temporary Solar Traffic Light addresses a specific traffic management scenario and one that affects most of us, on a daily basis – roadworks.” Features such as adaptive traffic counting, an LED-based waiting time countdown and remote programming scored highly for the jury. The fact that it’s a sustainable solution, with integrated solar-voltaic panels, was also considered important in the jury’s final assessment.
In the Infrastructure category, ArcelorMittal’s unique Magnelis coating and High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel for safety barriers and poles was declared a winner (Stand 05.328). The jury particularly applauded the zinc/magnesium.aluminium-on-alloy system for its self-healing capability, which enables cut edges to autonomously protect themselves against corrosion in the field. The product’s 25-year guarantee in traffic environments was also deemed noteworthy, since with authorities pressured to make budgets stretch further, more durable safety solutions integrated at the roadside will ultimately have a positive, longer-term effect on road safety as well as well as overall spend. “Roadside infrastructure that has to be maintained less also has knock-on effects for roadworker safety as well as for traffic disruptions,” confirmed van der Knaap.
A total of 60 exhibiting companies entered the 2014 Intertraffic Innovation Awards. The five members of the international jury all had to shortlist three entrants for each category. The jury then convened on 6 March 2014 for the 15 shortlisted companies to present their innovations in person, based upon which category winners were selected. The overall winner was then selected from the five category winners. All decisions were unanimous.
Intertraffic is the world’s largest and most influential trade event for infrastructure, ITS traffic management, safety and parking, providing a comprehensive overview of the very latest products, services and total solutions offered by suppliers. It also showcases the latest trends and developments. Intertraffic is intended for policymakers, specialists and operational personnel from government authorities, engineering consultancies, and the industry at large.