Highways England (UK) and Rijkswaterstaat (the Netherlands) are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the English and Dutch motorway and trunk road networks. Since 2011 they have teamed up in order to develop requirements for a new generation of traffic management (centre) systems that may be jointly procured. Setting up this architecture is being executed under the CHARM (Common Highways Agency Rijkswaterstaat Model) programme. For the CHARM-PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) project, the consortium is complemented by the Flanders Department of Mobility and Public Works, the UK-based Technology Strategy Board and Agentschap NL. The objective of CHARM is to move towards an open modular architecture for traffic management systems that enables to prevent future vendor lock-in and allows to plug in more easily new modules that can bring breakthrough innovations to traffic management services. The CHARM-PCP has the objective to research and create three new modules for the CHARM architecture:
- Lot 1: Advanced Distributed Network Management system
- Lot 2: Event Detection and Prediction
- Lot 3: Connected and Cooperative Vehicles
Nicander secured a 4-year Framework contract for Lot 1. Nicander delivered in July 2014 a feasibility report into the implementation an Advanced Distributed Network Management system module for inter-urban and urban highways that will provide automated support for the management of large (nationwide) traffic networks. This project researched the requirements and defined the feasibility of a software module to provide effective intelligence supported decision making to traffic network operators to ensure their actions and those of the system are quick, informed, consistent and coordinated across the whole national network, encompassing urban and interurban traffic management strategies. This module would be a multi-layered and self-learning system that continually improves its performance and effectively manages and balances different types of goals across the whole network to achieve overall objectives to improve traffic management services that contribute to optimising the performance of the road network, improving safety and reducing carbon emissions.