Special testbed for intelligent traffic control coming soon
Now that iTLCs (intelligent traffic control installations) are rapidly emerging and more and more related products are appearing, there is also a growing need for a joint test environment for this material. It's on the way: The Netherlands and Flanders are working together on a special "iTLC testbed", according to Wim Vandenberghe, representing the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Several suppliers have received iTLC certificates over the past year. These certificates can be considerd quality marks, only awarded after an intensive testing process when strict technical requirements have been met. Vandenberghe: "That's all right in itself. However, we do notice that when upgrading products – including, for example, a new, improved version of an existing iTLC product – we constantly have to monitor the agreements and ensure that they are all being adhered to. Certification is a continuous process, as each certificate expires but the need for quality and uniformity remains. A process that will certainly have to continue after the Talking Traffic Innovation Partnership wound up at the end of 2020."
In the lab and on the road
In order to accommodate suppliers and road authorities, the Ministry is now collaborating with all the other stakeholders in the iTLC world on a kind of testbed, similar to those used for the MOT inspection of cars. Vandenberghe: "A supplier with a new iTLC product – or a supplier who needs a new certificate because he has made a new version of an existing product – signs up at the testbed. This provides you with a continuously available test environment in the lab as well as a test environment which is available at specific times on public roads. The tests you need to perform and the test location, and the documentation you need to assemble during testing are laid down in a suitable "verification process definition". This governs the processes suppliers must follow and the tools they must use in order to qualify for a certificate.
Independent experts are involved in the iTLC testbed, which the Netherlands is developing jointly with Flanders. The iTLC testbed is expected to be operational by the middle of this year.