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A4 Holding takes part in the Innovation Garage Project
02 December 2020

A4 Holding takes part in the Innovation Garage promoted by the Abertis Group, leading group globally in toll road management, a project that aims to develop innovative ideas, in synergy with the other companies of the Group in the various countries where Abertis is present, in order to improve road infrastructure management using the most advanced technologies. The approach chosen by Abertis is a three-year partnership with IBM, one of the largest information technology companies in the world, signed to co-develop some projects on the mobility of the future and its multiple challenges mainly linked to the best management of the increasing traffic, environmental protection and the implementation of road safety.

Therefore, multidisciplinary groups were organized between the companies of the various countries of the Abertis Group (Spain, France, Italy, Chile, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, India and Mexico) and they have been engaged for about a year first in the collection of the most innovative proposals and now in the development of the solutions that have been considered to be the most interesting and useful to further improve the management of mobility and infrastructures.

The projects explored within this program aim to find new and sophisticated solutions based on technological resources - such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing among others - adapted to improve the experience of customers who travel with the Abertis motorways, offering a safer, more comfortable and sustainable journey, increasingly suited to their needs. Abertis Group and IBM will work together to develop these solutions and analyze their feasibility, in order to implement them in the short and medium term.

The areas on which the work of the Innovation Garage has been set up concern different macro-categories: New Solutions, Physical Infrastructures, Mobility and Commercial Operations.

Of the four projects currently underway, A4 Holding is involved in two different working groups: the Physical Infrastructures and the Mobility area.

As part of the first program, it was decided to develop a continuous monitoring system of the asphalt among all the initiatives conceived by the international teams to prevent the degradation of the pavement condition and thus ensure precise and timely maintenance. Thanks to the intervention of software equipped with artificial intelligence, the information collected will allow professionals to predict the maintenance needs of the various infrastructures more and more accurately, optimizing preventive actions, times and especially their costs.

The second initiative, on the other hand, consists of the creation of a system for optimizing winter operations, in order to minimize the impact both in terms of the environment and in terms of traffic. Through the use of technologies such as the analysis of big data and the Internet of Things, the purpose is to predict with the greatest possible precision how to manage winter operations on motorways, in response to snow forecast. This is to minimize the impact of snow and ice melting agents (such as salt), equipment and resources assigned to these road protocols, in order to maintain road safety for drivers and significantly reducing at the same time the environmental impact of these activities.

The remaining projects deal with the creation of a barrier-free mobility support system and the use of Big Data to offer customized solutions to travellers and extend the systems without toll barriers (free flow).

"Our participation in the Innovation Garage promoted by Abertis - is the comment of the Chairman of A4 Holding, Gonzalo Alcalde Rodríguez - has the primary purpose of guaranteeing greater safety and comfort for travelers on our 235 km of A4 Brescia-Padova and A31 Valdastico motorways, with a view to a future in which mobility and innovation will meet more and more in order to create smart and innovative solutions that respect the environment and at service of the community".