Travel time estimates to be displayed on the D2 and D5 motorways
Drivers will receive more information about capacity and traffic loads on motorways in the Czech Republic beginning on 24 January 2011. The Road and Motorway Directorate (Ředitelství silnic a dálnic ČR) and its partners have completed initial testing and verification of the travel time estimation system and will now show the information on a trial basis on variable message signs, first on the D2 and D5 motorways (Brno – Slovakia and Prague – Plzeň – Germany, respectively).
“We want to introduce this type of information to drivers and provide them with another service, made possible by modern technologies, on the two motorways”, says Jiří Švorc, RMD CEO. The distant destination travel time estimate specifies the time required to reach the destination at the present point in time. This means that a variable message sign on the outskirts of Prague tells drivers the estimated time needed to reach the Plzeň motorway exit from that particular moment in time.
“This is a travel time calculation. Determining the precise amount of time is impossible, though drivers would certainly like that. The estimate, made on the basis of various models, takes into consideration the effects of accidents, partial closures, and weather,” adds Jiří Švorc. The estimates are computed on the basis of model situations and current traffic loads over several monitored road profiles and the current traffic situations (such as accidents, closures, repairs and maintenance, and weather). The precision of the figure is estimated within the range of several minutes per 100 km, but it is only an INDICATIVE FIGURE meant to help the drivers to plan their trips. “Drivers should be prepared for the situation to change during their trips, depending on the particular traffic developments,” says Jiří Švorc. Drivers will learn the travel times on the D5 from Prague to Plzeň, from Plzeň to Rozvadova and back, and on the D2 from Brno to Břeclav and back.
The information will also be published at the Transportation Portal, www.dopravniinfo.cz, in the variable message sign section on the current traffic situation map. As of now, the site displays traffic loads evaluated for the various D5, R1, D1, and D2 sections equipped with detectors. “Sadly, there may be some irresponsible drivers who try to race with the travel time system,” says Jiří Švorc, “and the Police of the Czech Republic will undoubtedly focus on them more closely,” he adds.
The traffic load monitoring and travel time estimation system is being built and commissioned as part of the Smart Motorway concept. Current information on road traffic helps to improve traffic safety and flow and more efficient and better use of the existing road capacity, which is ultimately less costly and quicker than construction of new roads.
The Road and Motorway Directorate, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transportation of the Czech Republic, collects, processes, and publishes information on the current traffic situation on all roads all over the territory of the Czech Republic for drivers as part of the Unified Traffic Information System. In doing so, it contributes to improving traffic safety and flow and helps drivers on the road.