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Enterprising view of Berlin. 23/4/04
Private enterprise is helping to keep Berlin on the move with a public private partnership initiative that has seen the cost of managing the City's traffic flow pass from the state to the private sector.

In a move which is generating huge interest throughout the cities of Europe, DaimlerChrysler and Seimens have taken over the running of the VMZ - the City's Traffic Management Centre - using an array of advanced ITS technologies including solar-powered passive IR detectors using GSM links, floating -car data from the City's 350 taxis, and access for motorists to the latest traffic information via a PDA.

Under the terms of the agreement, traffic management systems and basic data, including route planning and suggestions on alternative modes of transport, will be provided free of charge to the public purse for an initial 10 year period. The two private companies hope to make their money through the provision of value added services but with an annual cost to them in the order of 1 million a year, they do not expect to break even for the next two years.

Completed at public expense at the end of June last year, the VMZ also houses police officers who control the operational - as opposed to the strategic - day to day movements of Berlin's traffic through the use of CCTV cameras and an ability to override the computer generated ATS (automatic traffic signal) controls.

Other free services to the motoring public includes weather forecasts, the current status of public transport modes including flights in and out of Berlin and inter-city train services, all of which are made available via the VMZ Web site. The information is also transmitted to motorists' PDAs through a link-up with software and service provider GPS4all.

The financial risks are being shared between the to main partners with DaimlerChrysler assuming the major burden at 51% and the remainder by Seimens. Developments are being closely watched by authorities in, amongst others, Milan in Italy and Haag Landen in The Netherlands.

Further information, contact
Dietmar Giese of DaimlerChrysler, Tel: +49-30-2554-1462, E-mail:
or visit
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