Visitors to Intertraffic Amsterdam will find a plethora of innovative products and solutions from over 800 exhibiting companies. The innovative products & solutions overview of Intertraffic Amsterdam provides an exhaustive list, but despite working remotely and privately for the past two years, it’s clear that our exhibitors have been working on a number of common themes.
In more typical times one of the most interesting aspects of a biennial trade show such as Intertraffic was to see what innovations have come to light over the intervening two years. But these are not typical times. This year’s show will be, of course, the first Intertraffic Amsterdam for four years – and four years is a long time in the traffic technology industry.
It’s also worth noting that it wasn’t all that long ago that the process that sees a new product go from the kernel of an idea to a commercial product could last for up to seven years (in the US, at least). Nowadays new ideas can be expedited significantly more quickly, but for the first time in its 50+ year history there has been a four year gap between Intertraffic Amsterdam shows – so how have our exhibitors been spending their time, with much of the last two years spent in various forms of lockdowns.
Entire product lines can come and go in four years, so what will be the most-talked about, shiny new stars of Intertraffic 2022? Our team of editorial contributors sifted through the list of new products making their Intertraffic debuts (some from well-established Intertraffic veterans, others from companies exhibiting for the first time) and it soon became clear that certain themes were emerging.
Artificial intelligence and green ITS
The subject of greenness, and air quality in particular, is one that has grown in importance over the last decade or so and in the intervening four years between Amsterdam expos it has risen to the top of many a political agenda – traffic technology firms are, quite rightly, making the most of the green wave and are, in fact, pushing the agenda.
Another strand that has expanded exponentially in the last few years is Artificial Intelligence (AI), so it’s perhaps unsurprising that one theme that caught our collective eye is the increasing amount of new products that combines both AI and green thinking.
Last month we spoke to Simplifai Systems’ CEO Keith McCabe about the potential for artificial intelligence to change the shape of the traffic technology sector, and later this month this will be followed up with a fascinating interview with US machine learning expert David Reinke, but both AI and ML are almost impossible to ignore in a review of innovations, despite both inextricably linked topics having dedicated editorial space.
Solutions that use advances AI to offer traffic management systems that monitor, measure and analyse emissions will be out in force at Intertraffic 2022, with the added innovative element of technology that predicts pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, and links weather data or traffic density to environmental health. Drivers can receive recommendations on optimal speed and road use via dynamic traffic signs, with the resultant desirable triptych of less congestion, smoother traffic and fewer emissions.
"Solutions that use advances AI to offer traffic management systems that monitor, measure and analyse emissions will be out in force at Intertraffic 2022"
One such debutant product that combines both elements is Amsterdam-based ITS specialists Ortana’s a new Smart Traffic Management Platform, Cosmos. The innovation provides coordinated smart software for all ITS units and stakeholders on a GIS-based platform with the aim of mitigating or preventing traffic congestion. Cosmos combines knowledge databases generated from traffic situations and submits the data to traffic operators in a single, innovative platform. The end result is less harmful carbon emissions on highways.
Examples of real intelligence
The trend of building AI into otherwise traditional traffic solutions is encapsulated by ARGOS, Data Collect Traffic Systems’ world-first portable technology capable of collecting high quality traffic data by combining AI with image processing. The highly innovative system offers greater than 95% accuracy without the need for video recording. ARGOS’s AI capability means the system is able to accurately classify 10 different types of vehicle and record speed, volume and origin/destination of vehicles at particularly complicated junctions and intersections, minus the typical time delays meaning that all data is processed on board and is available in real-time.
Green infrastructure is another innovative trend that is set to become a familiar face at Intertraffics over the next few years. One pertinent example of that comes in the shape of a new product from a stalwart of the Amsterdam showfloor. Jenoptik is debuting its highly innovative TraffiPole this year with one eye on the environment. TraffiPole is a new sustainable design housing for road safety technology, made of recyclable aluminium. It’s highly functional, award-winning double-wall design enables efficient air circulation, eliminating the need for air conditioning even in very hot climates. This significantly reduces power consumption and thus CO2 emissions. Additionally, exterior solar panels can contribute to further energy savings, the company says.
"Green infrastructure is another innovative trend that is set to become a familiar face at Intertraffic events over the next few years"
On a similar theme, X-Line by Swarco is an intelligent platform for energy-efficient intersections that controls traffic light systems based on the concept of distributed, decentralized intelligence. The innovation comes in the form of Swarco X-Line’s energy consumption, meaning that the energy consumption of an entire intersection is comparable to that of a single lamp in the past.
These are just two examples of how the traffic technology sector is evolving and continues to evolve. After an unprecedented and unwelcome four-year gap, Intertraffic is back and the move towards AI and environmentally friendly tech is proof, if proof were needed, that it’s not just new companies and young start-ups that have a monopoly on innovative new ideas.