Annual Retrospect at 13°C
2011 in a Nutshell

Autumn in summer and summer in autumn. As published by a renowned German news magazine there are respective conspiracy theories according to which it’s an US Intelligence Service which is responsible for these crazy weather conditions in Germany. The spring drought, the rainy summer and an autumn which hasn’t been as warm for over a hundred years are said to be the result of deliberate measures by the USA, which are to counteract the greenhouse effect, so that they may adhere to their environmentally harmful but industry-friendly climate policy.

The whole operation is said to have been realized by the employment of military planes and passenger aircrafts secretly distributing chemicals in the atmosphere which are then diminishing the solar radiation and are thus – at least partially - compensating the greenhouse effect.

One can either chuckle at stories like this or join the conspiracy theorists, but the fact is that the severe natural disasters of the last years (tsunamis, hurricanes, earth quakes etc.) give rise to concern and alarm and we all should be taken up on our duty to make our contribution to protect our flora and fauna and thereby ourselves as well.

We are making such a contribution through our solutions in traffic telematics. In the beginning, the focus of traffic control was basically on the safety of the road users. Today, we are developing software for traffic control systems which are able to manage the traffic in such a way that there are less traffic jams. This way, the pollution load is reduced and the environment is charged less. Through the application of road works management systems traffic impairments can be predicted and through the planning and coordination of road works it is possible to notably reduce the congestion times. A further advancement is the temporary opening of the hard shoulder which through the rise in capacity leads to an avoidance of traffic jams.

Lecture programme and in-house exhibition

In September, in celebration of our 30 year existence as a GmbH, we arranged a lecture programme and an in-house exhibition under the title „The roads of the day after tomorrow“. Current trends and developments in traffic telematics were the basis of the series of lectures.

Three lectures had their emphasis on the collection of data and the possible services resulting therefrom. Since these lectures were by participants from Austria, The Netherlands and Germany, there was a nice opportunity to compare the different approaches with regard to this topic. Once again, we would like to thank the respective renowned lecturers (ASFINAG, BASt, Rijkswaterstaat, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Heusch/Boesefeldt as well).

We were glad about the positive response not only with regard to the high number of participants but also with regard to the feedback that we got afterwards.

In connection with the lectures there was a little exhibition of some of our products. Sometimes, it is the little things which are the stunning ones. In the frame of a research project we had developed an application in road works for smartphones. We enhanced this application , smarTC, as an app for the support of the operation services. It presents the current states of display panels, traffic states or video images during the mobile service on the road and if necessary also allows for responses to the centre on desired display states.

The control of an active traffic management system according to MARZ is nothing unusual. Intriguing, however, is the size of the system on the A2 in Niedersachsen (100 display panels for each direction of motion) in relation to the size of the controlling computer. The control of the active traffic management system (incl. the filing of the data in a relational data base, protocols and evaluation) is done on a standard x86 server. Altogether the hardware costs less than € 5.000. (see Gap closure at the Traffic Control System A2 (Lower Saxony))

A little helper with a large profit for the putting into operation of traffic control systems is our sub-centre test tool: independent tests of the complete functionality, reproducible (since they are script-based) test processes, everything comfortably edited in lists, which can be filtered with regard to all criteria. This is attractive for operators as well as for construction supervisors.

The essential acquirement in the trial centre for the C2X project simTD, the modern, open and service-oriented system architecture can hardly be demonstrated on the screen. What we were able to present, however, was our new and modern handling of the representation of digital road maps – an approach which should by any means be pursued further.

Successful junior staff

At this year’s HEUREKA congress our colleague Herr Dr. Ing. Christoph Schwietering was honoured with the advancement award (Bene meritus.......well-deserved!). It is encouraging to us, that in such areas as active traffic management, which in Germany has been applied for 20 years now, improvements can still be made through intelligent research in practice for practice.

Safety protection Amras

In 2009 the very ambitious and technically innovative project safety protection Amras of the ASFINAG was started in Tirol on the Inntal motorway at the section Innsbruck-Amras. Due to the specific intertwining situation (with the merging of the traffic streams of A12 Inntal motorway and the A13 Brenner motorway) a special traffic concept and an innovative linking of the sub-centre with the tunnel operation was realized by Heusch/Boesefeldt.

Test management – Certification according to ISTQB®

The quality of the system solutions for our customers is of major emphasis at our company. Therefore, we have introduced a tool based test management some time ago. Here, the applied software shows – in a comprehensible way - the software life cycle starting with the system requirements, via the test specifications and test documentation up to the incident management. Since our customers have access to the system, complete transparency is guaranteed. In order to document our expertise in this area as well, this year we have decided to get a certification for which the colleagues concerned had to take a respective examination. Since then our company has test managers and testers certified according to ISTQB®.

Boundlessly informed – Internet service EuregioTraffic

As of late, our traffic information service EuregioTraffic once again provides complete information on the traffic situation in the tri-border region Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Our newsletter will provide you with futher information. Here, the advantage of standards becomes apparent once again. Reconfigurations of the connection lines and adaptations of the (pre-) standard OTAP to Datex 2 were the solution. Large efforts and developments were not necessary.

Maybe you are interested in the tri-border region solution as well? How about German-Danish-Frisian, German-Polish-Czech or German-French-Swiss German?

Surely you have noticed that Google publishes its own traffic state. This one can be displayed as well and leads to a direct comparison which no one should fear.

DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 Routine Surveillance Vistit 2011

Emphasis of this year’s routine surveillance vistit was on development. The auditor of the Bureau Veritas Certification office scrutinized our processes with regard to the development input, handling of development results, development evaluation and the control of development changes.

We have been ISO 9001 certified for 15 years in a row now. Every year the justification for the certificate is reassessed and it is every three years that the certificate is newly issued according to a specific procedure. No time to rest! But to be quite honest, we don’t really want to rest.

Aachener Engel

Same procedure as every year....

Faithful readers of our newsletter already know that every year - instead of sending Christmas cards - we are making a donation to the association Aachener Engel.  We greatly admire the commitment with which the volunteers take care of the sick and poor in our region and thus support them in their work with our membership and a donation.

We would like to thank you for a trusting cooperation during the passing year. This year’s anniversary has once again made us ponder our long tradition and the responsibilities connected with it and we are thus all the more looking forward to new, shared challenges.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, health and a successful 2012.

Your

Berthold Jansen, Dr. Dirk Hübner

and the Heusch/Boesefeldt Team