Data collection & safety improvements support City’s initiatives to increase pedestrian and cyclist traffic
Q-Free (OSE: QFR), a global leader in mobility solutions for smart city infrastructure, recently installed the first of four planned pedestrian and cycle counters for 2023 in the City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. This installation brings the total number of Q-Free HI-TRAC® CMU counters in the region to 34, each generating crucial data on the volume and movements of pedestrians and cyclists.
Boosting walking and cycling
According to their website, the City of Gold Coast developed a plan to improve all areas of transport within the city – the Gold Coast City Transport Strategy – which identified the mobility of pedestrians and cyclists as an area ripe for major improvements. Gold Coast boasts a population of over 600,000 people, with 10 million tourists per year visiting the ocean, theme parks, golf courses, or other attractions. With that many people, the City’s goal of increasing cycle and pedestrian traffic from 9 percent to 14 percent by 2031 would bring significant benefits like reduced air pollution, congestion, and noise.
Planning requires reliable data
Developing a complex strategy to increase the share of bikers and walkers requires accurate, comprehensive data collection – such as that provided by the HI-TRAC CMU cyclist and pedestrian monitoring unit. Installed and maintained by Q-Free Australia, the pinpoint accuracy of the counter can distinguish between several traffic types like pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders. The data fuels the citywide pedestrian and biking plan, by identifying service gaps and hotspots and recommending new paths and networks. By acting on the areas of need, the city can build more sustainability and personal mobility into the infrastructure, resulting in fewer automobiles and emissions while improving safety and access for foot and bike traffic.
The HI-TRAC CMU can do more than count
The equipment, installed on solar-powered poles and off-path cabinets, uses piezoelectric, passive infrared, and overhead sensors to identify and count the pedestrians and bicycles using the path. Q-Free’s data hosting and reporting tool allows the city to access or download transportation data easily in real-time. The HI-TRAC CMU can operate on sustainable solar power with battery backup, reducing the main-line electricity used and matching the renewable energy goals outlined in the Transport Strategy.
Deploying technology that operates on renewable power is a cornerstone of Q-Free’s vision of aligning sustainability goals with technology and traffic management.
“This is a great project for Q-Free, one that shows our technical abilities along with our commitment to safety and sustainability Citizens and tourists of Gold Coast City will be enjoying the benefits of this project for decades.”– Silje Troseth, Q-Free’s Asia-Pacific Vice President and GM of Australia.
The HI-TRAC CMU continues a functional life cycle after the data-gathering phase. Each unit can monitor four separate bicycle/pedestrian lanes and distinguish actual bicycles from other traffic. The CMU can integrate into signal and traffic management systems, setting up real-time displays and alerts. One feature Gold Coast uses, for example, detects bicycle traffic and automatically triggers flashing signs for drivers, alerting them to the upcoming cyclists. In a smart-city deployment, the HI-TRAC CMU can fully coordinate with a regional traffic management system, improving safety for vulnerable road users in multi-modal transportation environments.
Staying busy down under
The Q-Free Australia team continues improving the HI-TRAC CMU counting network’s safety, sustainability, and data-gathering capabilities. They are also working on modem upgrades to maintain communication improvement standards set by Australia’s government as they phase out old, inefficient data networks.
Q-Free ASA (OSE: QFR) is a global innovator in intelligent transportation systems that improve traffic flow, road safety, and air quality. With an open, collaborative approach to tolling, traffic, and active transportation management, Q-Free works with customers and partners on every continent to digitize infrastructure and overcome modern mobility challenges for the greater good of society.
Headquartered in Trondheim, Norway, Q-Free has annual revenues of approximately 900 million NOK (80 million USD) and employs about 350 transportation innovators, experts, and enthusiasts. To learn more about how Q-Free is changing the movements of life, visit www.q-free.com.