Dutch provinces and municipalities use central control rooms to operate their infrastructure. There are 150 of these control centers across The Netherlands, staffed by hundreds of people who supervise roads, tunnels, bridges, waterways, and urban traffic systems. The iCentrale program is looking for possibilities to combine and integrate the activities of these control centers.
Control in every domain
Dutch provinces, municipalities, and enterprises are joining forces within iCentrale, stimulated by the Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment’s Beter Benutten (‘Optimizing Use’) program. Its practice-oriented projects are developed and tested in an integrated control room: the iCentrale.
An iCentrale offers optimized workplaces for the operators, in a way that combines access to the functions of the various domains. Thus an iCentrale offers control not only of road traffic in a region, but also of the tunnels, waterways, and bridges in the same region. Road users, barge masters, residents, and businesses will see the results in the form of shorter and more predictable travel times, shorter waiting periods, improvement of the living environment, and an enhanced business climate.
iHMI – Intelligent Human Machine Interface
Technolution is one of thirteen participating companies. As a member of the Technology and Systems project group, we are actively cooperating in producing the blueprint for the iCentrale, the corresponding interfaces and security frameworks. Technolution is taking the lead in designing the optimal user interface for iCentrale: the intelligent Human Machine Interface (iHMI) and the outline of a test and demonstration environment.
The trigger-based iHMI offers operators direct access to all functions and interfaces that they need, when they need it. If a barge master requests the opening of a bridge in the region, for instance, the iHMI will immediately display this request, together with the operating elements of the bridge. In addition, operators can communicate directly through the iHMI with colleagues who are on the spot.
The demonstration environment is the realization of the iCentrale with a first series of user products. These products autonomously detect events and activate tasks. They direct these tasks to the right operator desk and project the corresponding user interface and camera images onto the display screens.
In addition, elements of the iCentrale are being tested in existing control rooms using practical cases. The demonstration environment and these practical cases allow public and private partners to experience the possibilities of an iCentrale themselves: from optimized workplaces to privately hosted services. This gives them insight into the opportunities that the iCentrale can offer their own organization.
The private partners are committed to further developing the first series of user products from the demonstration environment into full products. They are demonstrating these products in ‘living labs’ (their own control rooms, test and development centers). Future buyers of iCentrales can use these living labs to ascertain that the market is ready for the iCentrale. From 2018 onwards, government bodies will be able to purchase the first private iCentrale services, which will mean a huge improvement of the effectivity and efficiency in the management and control of Dutch infrastructure.
Their own iCentrale
Three living labs have been set up at Technolution in Gouda. iCentrale participants can use them to carry out practice-oriented tests in the field of road traffic management, navigation management, object monitoring and operation, and the monitoring of public space.