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October 15, 2019


 Road tunnels and technology in an operational perspective
Arild Petter Sovik, Tunntech Global News

Locate and notify people in tunnels by using cell phone technology Featured

Written by  Nov 17, 2017

A great challenge the first responders face during incidents and accidents in tunnels is getting an overview of how many people are in the tunnel, where they are, how to communicate with them, direction they are moving, needs of assistance and how to communicate with incoming motorists about stop in the traffic and diversions. Imagine if you could use the cell phone that everyone is carrying along to solve these issues. 

Location based notification includes various technologies that make it possible to notify people who are located within a defined geographical area in a fast and efficient manner. The mobile phones are identified using location information from the mobile network. By using different technologies like Advanced SMS, App Alerts and Cell Broadcast, a dynamic real-time notification is possible.

The system can send text messages (Advanced SMS) to all mobile subscribers located within a specific area, including foreign visitors. Location Based Alerting System (LBAS) shows the total number of people in real-time. The technology works because LBAS is closely integrated into components from the telecom operators. Privacy is ensured that all information remains with the operators. LBAS calculates which base stations cover the specified area, and then the system finds the subscribers who have their last position on these base stations, on which messages are sent via SMS. LBAS uses advanced load balancing and cell spreading algorithms to ensure the highest possible delivery of messages without causing overload. Cell Broadcast sends text messages to all mobile phones within a specified area, choose in the contingency plans. Cellular Broadcasting (CB) can reach millions in seconds, and technology enables simultaneous delivery of messages to all mobile phones within a particular geographic area. A Cell Broadcast message sent to a given area will reach all mobile phones configured to receive Cell Broadcast messages.

When it comes to privacy legislation an incident/accident is defined as an emergency and a traffic Control Centre can get additional information about the SIM card owner, and also an even more accurate positioning of the person (phone). Depending on the mobile network infrastructure it is possible to narrow down the location to a few square meters! Predefined messages can be a part of the contingency plans and messages can be given on the owners native language. Accurate information about the incident and evacuation directions can be given based on location and language. 

Can you use this system in your tunnel?

All tunnels with mobile phone coverage can put the system into use, and it is possible to increase accuracy of the positioning by improving the broadcasting infrastructure where needed. Location based text messages will ore or less revolutionize first responders ability to give assistance and rescue people. 

Example from the coverage from 2 subsea tunnels in Norway

The system was used for the World Championship in Cycling in Bergen earlier this year. An important part of the safety around the largest sport event in Norway since the winter olympics in Lillehammer in 1994. 

The technology has until now only been available for secret services purposes, but now also available for community safety and tunnel safety applications. 

Last modified on Sunday, 03 December 2017 20:15
Arild Petter Sovik

Editor, Tunntech Global News

E-mail:  arild.sovik@tunntech.no
Phone:  +47 950 88 793

 

News coverage based on many years of experience from key positions in the industry. Former National Tunnel Manager at the road authorities (NO), senior principal development manager at a major tunnel contractor company (NO) and experience from a wide number of activities in national and international networks. 

 

Website: www.sovikconsulting.no
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