‘We now have a solution we can use in our daily planning - although we still have a lot to learn,’ admits Aarhus’s project leader, Michael Bloksgaard. A considerable hurdle, he said, was getting familiarised with the technology. ‘When the first pilot started we had a lot of ideas but no experience with the technology. The biggest challenge has been to define what works and especially what does not work.’ This resulted in Bloksgaard drafting a set of steps that identify what to look for when placing Bluetooth loggers.
Bloksgaard describes issues like how to manage the data and achieving the full value of the technology as particular challenges. ‘We will only have the full use of all the benefits of the solution when we can give information to travellers about travel times, plan our infrastructure investment by congestion and price, and measure the value of infrastructure investments after implementation,’ he said.
At the moment, Aarhus focuses on quick-and-easy access to data at the right level of aggregation in order to ensure that the data will be used. In addition, ensuring good quality of data will also be a challenge. Aarhus will track the quality of the data generated by the system in the form of a check carried out once a year.
Although Aarhus does keep the information it gathers, it supports innovators to develop smart applications, tools and services by making all data public available on their open data site
. The municipality also plans activities such as the Aarhus Data Drinks Meetup where developers can meet face-to-face, provides a virtual meeting place were developers can collaborate and also awards financial incentives. Thanks to this approach, different applications (such as one that guides drivers through traffic) have already been developed.