Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Aarhus traffic lights turn green for bikes

William Payne
January 27, 2016
Danish city Aarhus is running a pilot traffic scheme using RFID tags attached to bikes that turn traffic lights to green. The pilot is part of the town's smart city strategy.

The second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is also a major university centre. Thousands of cyclists use the city roads, including many students.
Aarhus has strategies already in place to be both a cycling city and a smart city, so bringing the two strategies together made sense.

Part of a European project known as Radical, which describes itself as opening "new horizons in the development and deployment of interoperable social networking and IoT services in Smart Cities, creating a novel ICT platform which gathers services that could be flexibly and successfully customized and replicated across multiple cities."

Aarhus is one of six European cities drawn from six different countries within the Radical project, which aims to create a "Living Lab" to test new approaches to a number of smart city themes, including cycling safety, green products management, data journalism, participatory urbanism, augmented reality and eco-consciousness.

The RFID chip was provided by ID-advice, which has designed and is managing the green traffic light system, known as 2Green. A busy road intersection has been chosen, and as cyclists approach, their passage is prioritised.
However, the system also scans for emergency service vehicles such as police, ambulance and fire brigade. If they are approaching, then the traffic lights prioritise their passage.

At the moment the pilot is limited to just 200 bicyclists, and one road junction. However, ID-advice are keen to expand the pilot.