AS Bercman Technologies has completed and handed over the Polva Smart Road innovation project to the Polva rural municipality government, meeting the scheduled deadline at the end of 2023.
The smart road was built in the city of Polva with the aim of increasing road safety and piloting an intra-city average speed measurement system combined with a smart pedestrian crosswalk solution.
The development of the Polva Smart Road project was undertaken with joint efforts and co-funding from the European Regional Development Fund, under the initiative titled “Increasing the local socio-economic impact of the R&D&I system and smart specialization for the development of growth areas (ICT + health + resources).” The grant for this project was awarded to the Polva municipality, with Enterprise Estonia serving as the implementing agency. The total contract value, inclusive of VAT, amounted to 167,980 euros, with 50 percent of this sum provided as a grant by Enterprise Estonia.
In the innovation project, Bercman has implemented its proprietary Smart Pedestrian Crosswalk safety system, featuring traffic data collection capabilities, across a 2.5 kilometer section of Kesk and Jaama Streets in central Polva. This system has been deployed at 14 unregulated crossing points, including the installation of vehicle number recognition cameras at five crosswalks for measuring average speed. Additionally, variable message signs have been installed at both ends of the smart road, providing drivers with real-time feedback on their average speed.
Bercman CEO Mart Suurkask said that the Polva smart road marks a significant advancement in the company’s commitment to enhancing road safety.
“Globally, average speed measurement has proven to be an effective tool for traffic calming and reducing accidents. In Polva, this method, integrated with our smart crosswalks, offers an innovative, cost-effective solution to further elevate road safety,” he said.
“It’s remarkable that Polva, a small town in southern Estonia, is leading such groundbreaking innovation in road safety, setting a notable example not only for Estonia but also globally. To our knowledge, this is the first implementation of such a comprehensive solution worldwide. Our smart crosswalks not only detect pedestrians and alert drivers with LED lights but also measure vehicle speeds and gather anonymized traffic data. Looking ahead, these crosswalks have the potential to integrate with V2X communication technologies, enhancing vehicle-infrastructure interaction,” Suurkask added.
Mayor of the Polva municipality Martti Roigas: “I am delighted with the successful completion of the smart road in Polva, which promises to significantly enhance pedestrian safety and overall road security in our town. A primary goal of this project is to create a safer environment for all our residents, from children to the elderly. The system’s capability to measure and provide feedback on average vehicle speeds is a key component in positively influencing driver behavior.”
Roigas added that this was evident from the first day of testing, when the system detected a vehicle speeding at 80 kilometers per hour in the town center.
“Additionally, the Smart Road system anonymously collects data on traffic flow, including pedestrian and vehicle counts at crosswalks, and monitors key air quality indicators. This comprehensive data collection will empower us to make informed, data-driven decisions for Polva’s future development,” he noted.
In September 2023, Bercman updated its data protection impact assessment for the smart crosswalk devices. This assessment confirms that the anonymized data collected through these devices pose no threat to individual rights and freedoms.
Bercman, founded in 2016, is a technology company listed on Nasdaq, specializing in development services, creation of proprietary products, and provision of comprehensive technology systems.
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