20 Jul 2015
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NZ Transport Agency utilises Bluetooth technology

By Catherine Knowles

The NZ Transport Agency has installed a network of high-tech sensors to make travelling around Tauranga and parts of the Bay of Plenty easier.

These sensors use Bluetooth technology to collect and share live traffic information with people.

They record how long it takes vehicles to travel from sites around the region - for example from the Tauranga CBD to Te Puna, Tauriko, Hairini, Papamoa, Te Puke or further afield to Waihi, across the Kaimai Range, Whakatane and Rotorua.

The information is then streamed live to a dedicated mobile website which advises people how long journeys are currently taking around the region. The site updates every few minutes.

The sensors also measure travel time savings and reliability improvements from new projects such as the Tauranga Eastern Link.

Nigel D’Ath, Transport Agency Bay of Plenty journey manager, says the NZ Transport Agency and project consultants, Beca, decided to roll out the initiative as there are a number of large roading projects in the pipeline, such as the Maungatapu Underpass and Bayfair to Baypark Improvement (B2B).

He says the DriveLive initiative will help people to plan ahead and work out the best time to travel, and what time they are likely to arrive at their destination.

“Knowing how long a journey will take is important for people and businesses. People have told us that being unable to predict journey times with certainty is one of their biggest frustrations, resulting in lost time and productivity," he says.

“The DriveLive website will provide people with live information to help them make smarter travel choices and hopefully save time each day.

“Not only will travellers know what to expect, they will be able to share that information with others,” D'Ath says.

The sensors monitor the unique Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals from passing vehicles; they match that unique signal at the next sensor to measure the travel time.

They do not record any personal information and cannot be linked back to an individual, says NZ Transport Agency.

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