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Swedish Transport Administration trials 'active inverted speedbump' technology

The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) has installed Edeva’s Actibump system for the first time on a national highway as part of a five-year study on the use of the ‘active speedbump’ technology to help meet its long-term Vision Zero ambitions.

Swedish company Edeva is the inventor and vendor of the Actibump system, which is a robust and intelligent traffic control system that increases road safety and accessibility while lowering emissions and noise. The Actibump system leaves the road surface level for vehicles driving at, or under, the legal speed limit.

However, speeding vehicles activate a hatch integrated into the road that lowers the pavement surface by a few centimeters, creating an inverted speed bump. As opposed to regular, static, raised speedbumps, only those vehicles that are speeding are affected by the sudden dip in the road surface created by the active and inverted speedbump.

Trafikverket has deployed the Actibump system, which it refers to as Active Speedbumps, on the E65 European network route near the Dragongatan-Koppargatan junction in the city of Ystad. A large volume of vehicles pass through this junction on a daily basis and a large portion of them are heavier vehicles, going to and from the Ystad harbor and port facility.

This specific site has been selected as it is also used by a large number of vulnerable road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, who need to be able to cross the street safely. Trafikverket are trialling the Actibump system to see if it can help solve the compromise between traffic safety and accessibility for a road with heavy traffic and large traffic flows.

The speed limit on this section of the E65 is 31mph (50km/h), and traditional speedbumps are considered to be unreasonable from a work environment perspective for the heavy vehicles that must use this route. Trafikverket says active speedbumps will be installed on two additional sites in Sweden during 2019-2020, and the effects will be continuously monitored and evaluated during the five-year trial period. Thereafter a decision will be made regarding whether more active speed bumps will be installed on major routes across the country.

Trafikverket’s goal director, Maria Krafft, has recently appeared on Swedish television to explain the use of the new system. The agency is hoping that the technology will provide it with an additional tool to increase traffic safety for vulnerable road users in urban areas, while maintaining accessibility.

The Swedish cities of Malmö, Uppsala, Västerås, Helsingborg, and Linköping have successfully tested the active speedbump system on local routes. Evaluations have shown decreased average speed, better yielding behavior toward pedestrians, and lower noise levels than traditional raised speedbumps.

May 29, 2018

Written by Adam Frost

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