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65 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 113715 25-Jan-2013 14:14 Send private message

So it seems every second light pole or so along the Hutt motorway there's some sort of patch antenna angled downwards towards the road.

They've been there for a while (2 or 3 years maybe) but it's always been a mystery what they are for.

Then I read about some system for monitoring traffic travel times by picking up bluetooth from cars, thought maybe this was it?

Anyone have any ideas what these things are?

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20 posts

Geek

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  Reply # 750762 25-Jan-2013 14:34 Send private message


These are straight out radar units.

Used for measuring the speed of cars passing them, the speed is used to work out congestion.

The radars are used on sections of the road that are bridges, road loops or camera overlays are used elsewhere.


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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 750764 25-Jan-2013 14:35 Send private message

They're radars installed by NZTA to monitor general traffic flow across multiple lanes in both directions so the variable speed signs can be set as appropriate, the units are either Wavetronix or Golden River radars.

The Bluetooth devices are installed (in Wellington) on some of the big gantries, you will see the white box hanging off the side of the Hobson St gantry near to the centre barrier. 



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 750765 25-Jan-2013 14:36 Send private message

Cool. How is the information used? And, is it available in any form online? Such as real time current traffic conditions...

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 750802 25-Jan-2013 15:04 Send private message

aros71: Cool. How is the information used? And, is it available in any form online? Such as real time current traffic conditions...


Auckland traffic is available in (almost) real time, including webcams, gantry signs etc.

Wellington only seems to have the webcams avaiable.

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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 750803 25-Jan-2013 15:05 Send private message

ShaneS is an authority on this and we're (former) colleagues! It was always the intent that more traffic data was shared but this hasn't happened in Wellington yet.

The NZTA has a developer portal called Infoconnect with a lot of data from Auckland as it relates to the journey time system used there (not Bluetooth but sensor data), plus access to the nationwide event management system via web-services, the types of alerts which get sent to radio stations and navigation providers etc.

In Wellington the information from the radars is shown to the traffic operators on their consoles, beyond that I'm not sure if they've got automated alerts set up for when there are speed changes. I don't believe it's used for detecting accidents as the cameras pick up tailbacks from a crash or the crash site faster but that could be one use.

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  Reply # 750805 25-Jan-2013 15:09 Send private message

Another interesting one from Auckland is this

http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/highway-info/auckland-traffic-speed.html

Shows the speed breakdown for each motorway section, updated every minute.

BDFL
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  Reply # 750810 25-Jan-2013 15:19 Send private message

Great this information is available but... These sites are only good if you are planning a trip but once you have started down the road that's old information.

But they don't seem to have a mobile site that people can check on the road.






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  Reply # 750813 25-Jan-2013 15:26 Send private message

I'm assuming there is no algorithm to actually set the speed signs based on this data, but it's a manual process?

I say this because driving this route every day there are numerous days where these signs are all set to 80km/h but the traffic is all doing 100km/h, with no tailback at the interchange for the Hutt.

What is also clear driving this every day is that the level of compliance of these signs sits at around 0%

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  Reply # 750814 25-Jan-2013 15:27 Send private message


While NZTA do publish a bit of data, it is hoped that by providing data to developers that they will create the useful apps :)

https://infoconnect.highwayinfo.govt.nz/opencms/opencms/InfoConnect/index.html


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  Reply # 750816 25-Jan-2013 15:28 Send private message

Or going down Ngauranga Gorge at 8am, crawling at 20km/h, tail to bumper, no space to maneuver but the signs say "60KM/H".

The only ones that could possibly try to do 60KM/H in that sea of vehicles are the birds.

Personally I think there's a bit of wasted money in those signs...




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  Reply # 750828 25-Jan-2013 15:47 Send private message

I noitice on my phone when I pull up Google Now, it telle that it's going to be 12 minutes to my home from the CBD (or where I am now) and there there is normal traffic. I wonder where it sources this information?




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  Reply # 750829 25-Jan-2013 15:49 Send private message

freitasm:  they don't seem to have a mobile site that people can check on the road.


Yeah - I want a mobile app that'll give me a map with roads coloured red (congested), green (flowing freely) or the default pale yellow (no data). Kind of like the traffic overlay in Google Maps, except with information that isn't 18 months out of date like Google's is.

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  Reply # 750835 25-Jan-2013 15:57 Send private message

aros71:
freitasm:  they don't seem to have a mobile site that people can check on the road.


Yeah - I want a mobile app that'll give me a map with roads coloured red (congested), green (flowing freely) or the default pale yellow (no data). Kind of like the traffic overlay in Google Maps, except with information that isn't 18 months out of date like Google's is.


Try waze
www.wave.com
Plenty of users in NZ.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 750852 25-Jan-2013 16:18 Send private message

freitasm: Or going down Ngauranga Gorge at 8am, crawling at 20km/h, tail to bumper, no space to maneuver but the signs say "60KM/H".

The only ones that could possibly try to do 60KM/H in that sea of vehicles are the birds.


actually the cyclists!  they're faster than the cars during that time of the day... Laughing

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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 750854 25-Jan-2013 16:25 Send private message

freitasm: Or going down Ngauranga Gorge at 8am, crawling at 20km/h, tail to bumper, no space to maneuver but the signs say "60KM/H".

The only ones that could possibly try to do 60KM/H in that sea of vehicles are the birds.

Personally I think there's a bit of wasted money in those signs...


60Kph is the slowest speed that can be legally set to the variable signs unless there are roadworks or some other activity (with temporary speed limit signs put up) I believe. The point of the signs is to attempt to either smooth traffic or slow traffic prior to a queue.

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