In 2025, the city of Copenhagen wants to be the first CO2-neutral capital in the world. An important notion in this ambitious plan is mobility. More cyclists, making more use of public transport, less cars in the city's center and a better traffic flow in the corridors will have to reduce the CO2 emissions and result in a better quality of life and a livelier city. At the end of 2015, Technolution was given the responsibility of managing the mobility project.
Article from Objective 29, 2018
Multimodal and network-wide
The car is usually the main focus point in traffic management. Copenhagen has chosen to go for a broader approach. In project 'Copenhagen 2025', cyclists, pedestrians and public transport are all given as much consideration as cars and trucks. The cyclists, especially, are given free rein. In 2025, more than half of the commutes from and to school and the office will have to be by bicycle. Three quarters of all transportation in the city will either be on foot, by bicycle or by public transport.
Copenhagen's ambitions require an integrated, network-wide approach that includes all aspects of city traffic. Denmark had never before looked at traffic management in such a multimodal manner. The city invited subscribers to the tender to come up with creative and bold ideas, but nevertheless ideas that are achievable and cost-efficient while building on systems already in place in the city. Other wishes entailed open standards and not being dependent on specific suppliers. Above all, the citizens, and not the technology, had to be the main focus point.
Technolution and Copenhagen: a great match
This project fitted well with Technolution’s vision. Our mobility solutions are multimodal and focus on the entire chain; from sensors and installations along the side of the road to the controls and management in the traffic center. The ideas of 'Copenhagen 2025' fitted perfectly into our philosophy: use technology creatively in order to create adequate and open solutions that truly provide added value. This is why we committed ourselves for 100% to this tender. Thanks to the versatility and the challenging character of the tender Technolution, together with a number of partners, was able to make an appropriate offer.
The result was beyond positive. Copenhagen believed in the solutions and the approach we proposed and selected us as contractor for the mobility project.
Copenhagen was Technolution's first international mobility project of this scale. It was the next logical step forward into a long and valuable learning experience. These past two and a half years, together with seven Danish partners, we have created a series of coherent, multimodal solutions for urban mobility that truly contribute to the goals of 'Copenhagen 2025'.
Some of these solutions are specifically focused on improving travel times and the level of comfort for cyclists. This makes it more enticing for the people of Copenhagen to abandon their cars and use their bicycles more.
Route information for cyclists
This city has the world's first dynamic panels that provide cyclists with information regarding any delays, traffic and the quickest route the city's center. The information is based on the automatic count of cyclists by intelligent sensors and the predictions of the BikeSim module (see below). The panels are designed by an urban architect in collaboration with cyclists, inhabitants and regulators.
The MobiMaestro module BikeSim performs simulations based on real-time data of cyclists' movement and the current red/green light times of the traffic installations (TLCs). Based on these simulations, BikeSim does accurate predictions about travel times and the traffic encountered en route. This means that the TLCs can be changed dynamically in order to guarantee enticing travel times for cyclists, even when traffic is increasing.
Intelligent street lighting
Cyclists and pedestrians need proper street lighting, but this does not mean that it should be continuously lit. Intelligent street lighting reacts to passing cyclists and pedestrians by increasing the amount of light. This solution works two ways: improved visibility at the right locations while also saving energy due to the fact that the lighting can be dialed back to half its intensity during the more quite times of the night. This reduces the city's CO2 emissions while preserving the required level of safety. The solution builds on the already present dynamic street lighting.
Different solutions, like the Greencatch app, are focused on directing traffic more smoothly through and around the city.
Eco-driving with Greencatch
GreenCatch is an app directed at all driving traffic participants: cyclists, cars, trucks and public transport. The app knows when the next traffic light will turn green and gives the road user custom advice regarding his/her speed. When the user abides by this, the traffic light will be green upon arrival. GreenCatch thus creates a ‘green wave’ for each traffic participant. The eco-driving app ensures a smooth traffic flow, less stationary traffic, less acceleration of motorized traffic and thus less CO2 emissions.
MobiMaestro, the connecting element
As a city traffic management system, MobiMaestro is the connecting element between all these solutions. This is where all the information comes together. MobiMaestro receives data from many sources, such as the sensor network in the city, the traffic light controls, navigational systems in the cars on the road, GPS trackers in city buses, BikeSim, road works, weather conditions and measured emissions of harmful substances. The road traffic managers and city administrators are thus provided with a complete and multimodal overview of the traffic situation in and around the city. From MobiMaestro, they can start scenarios, for instance to relieve bottlenecks, adjust green light times and optimize traffic flow through and around the city.
The mobility project of Copenhagen is coming to an end. The evaluations of the effects of the solutions and the appreciation of the inhabitants of the city are in full swing. In some cases, the effects will only become evident after a while, but Copenhagen is already quite happy with the results. We are proud of what we have created together with our partners: a multimodal and network-wide platform for traffic management, traffic flows and public space - for a city that is transitioning into a smart city.
Furthermore, this special project has turned out to be the start of Technolution Nordics, which resulted in two brand new offices in Copenhagen and Stockholm. There is still a lot to achieve regarding mobility in the Scandinavian countries, which are remarkably similar to the Netherlands in terms of culture. Building on our expertise, these two offices will gradually expand their business in collaboration with Technolution Netherlands.