Bluetooth installed in 6 Flemish tunnels to avoid GPS problems
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Bluetooth installed in 6 Flemish tunnels to avoid GPS problems

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The Agency for Roads and Traffic will install 320 Bluetooth boxes in 6 tunnels in Flanders in coming months so that GPS in cars can keep receiving signal. The GPS ‘beacons’ have already been installed in the Craeybeckx and Kennedy Tunnels in Antwerp. Before the end of April, the Tijsmans and Beveren Tunnels in Antwerp, as well as the Quatre-Bras and Leonard Tunnels around Brussels will also receive beacons. Apart from helping to maintain a GPS signal, the boxes will also enable the government to detect problems and accidents faster.

The Agency for Roads and Traffic worked with the navigation app Waze for the placement of the beacons, but as it is open technology other GPS-systems can use them as well. The GPS will be able to send as well as receive signals in these six tunnels, thanks to the beacons. They will take over the GPS-system automatically from the moment the car enters one of the tunnels. The only thing the driver has to do is switch on the Bluetooth function on their phone.

“Drivers are getting better service in these tunnels: the GPS signal will not flicker out anymore, the updated travel times in the app will be more accurate and you will be notified faster for traffic jams,” said Minister for Mobility Ben Weyts (N-VA) to Het Laatste Nieuws. “The government gets an extra tool to help detect problems in time. It’s a win-win,” he added. 

“In total, the system costs around 30,000 euros, hardware and working hours included,” said Weyts.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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