Enabling a safe and efficient road in Tromsø.

MOBILE BACKHAUL.

Through a battery-powered LoRa-based radio system

Challenge

Snowy and icy roads can be a major problem in general for traffic safety and efficiency. Especially if the road is narrow, busy and has a steep incline. This was the case for our Norwegian client TFK, concerning a stretch of road close to Tromsø, in Norway.

From January to May, this sloping and icy 5 km road is heavily trafficked by trucks due to the Skrei cod fishing season. The steep hill means that the trucks need to maintain a certain speed to complete the entire stretch. If the truck encounters oncoming traffic and needs to slow down, it can get stuck and block the traffic. This happens at least once a week, causing traffic disruption, delays, and frustration.

Qamcom was tasked to find a solution. However, there were some tangible challenges. In this area, there is no power supply, close to no mobile network coverage, limited periods of daylight, and long distances. Conditions that place high demands on the solution that needed to be:

  • Accurate and generate real-time detection of incoming & outgoing traffic
  • Wireless over 5–6 km in mountainous terrain but without a mobile network
  • Independent of external energy supply
  • Durable in tough conditions
  • Long-lasting without maintenance

Solution

Our solution was a battery-powered LoRa-based radio system with a total of seven installations – providing an accurate, long-lasting, and energy efficiency solution to optimize uptime and minimize maintenance.

To be able to detect and differentiate between longer and shorter vehicles, we milled down detection loop threads in the road system.

Vehicles uphill get a notification that a larger vehicle is on its way up and encourage the vehicle to wait until the bigger one passes. Likewise, longer vehicles downhill will be requested to wait in case there already is traffic on its way down the critical road stretch.

Outcome

With this system in place, we will save time, money and frustration for all road users, carriers and county – making the road efficient and safe. Well, that is what we call turning technology into value.

This mission was perfect for Qamcom since it included out-side-the-box thinking, solution orientation and a flexible approach as well as long experience and deep competence within signal processing and wireless communication.

The solution has already been noted by other counties that wants to solve similar problems for other roads, tunnels, bridges etc.

Want to learn more?
Johan Liljeqvist
johan.liljeqvist@qamcom.se