Q-Free | Mobility technology from Trondheim

Fewer fatalities, thanks to Q-Free. Q-Free provides better traffic flow, cleaner air and safer traffic, with fewer fatalities and accidents. You can find transponders from Trøndelag in cars all over the world. Our transponders eliminate traffic congestion, improve city air and save lives. Fewer people die in traffic, thanks to technology from Trondheim. Our adventure started on the brand new E6 motorway in 1988. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration dreamed of automatic toll stations where traffic could pass without slowing down or stopping. The sharp minds at ‘little’ Q-Free –originally called Micro Design – solved the task without the Norwegian Public Roads Administration having to look for suppliers abroad. At the Ranheim toll station, just outside of Trondheim, we made the leap from manual toll booths and coin-operated machines to lightning-fast radio signals. We had our international breakthrough in Portugal in 1991, and today, Q-free is a listed technology company headquartered in Trondheim, with 400 employees at branch offices in 16 countries. We have offices in the USA, Australia, Canada, Chile, Russia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and a number of other countries. Our technology is used for much more than collecting road tolls from cars travelling at high speeds. Today, our focus can be summed up with the keywords Flow, Clean, Safe – in other words, better traffic flow, cleaner air and safer traffic, with fewer fatalities and accidents. Q-Free is a world-leader in mobility technology.

We have made a short film that uses Bangkok as an example. Eighty per cent of the world’s cities have such poor air quality that it is harmful to health. Bangkok is one of the worst, and traffic is the main cause of the hazardous air. The cars stood spewing exhaust fumes for an average of four minutes, just to get through the toll stations. The Trøndelag transponder reduced these four minutes to three seconds. Nearly six million cars pass the Q-Free transceivers in the Thai capital every day.

In Australia and the Faeroe Islands, among other places, Q-Free is testing new technology aimed at solving tasks other than collecting tolls. Almost 1.4 million people die in traffic each year. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among young adults. Technical solutions from the Trondheim region make it easier to monitor traffic and weed out drivers who pose a risk to themselves and others. More people will have the chance to live long lives as a result.

Pioneering video technology from Q-Free has contributed to reduced emissions and improved air quality in Stockholm. The Øresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark is equipped with smart solutions developed at Q-Free, just one of countless technology companies in Trondheim.

Transport is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In big cities, people sit in traffic jams for up to 60 hours each year – time that could have been better spent. Q-Free helps people with both.

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Wind that can save the world

There is more than enough wind out at sea to save the world from catastrophic climate change. Trondheim is a pioneer city in the hunt for floating offshore wind. All eyes are on us. Wind is stronger across deeper water. Eighty per cent of all wind sweeps across water that is too deep for wind turbines on the sea floor. These turbines must float in the sea. The task of head researcher John Olav G. Tande and his colleagues at Sintef Energy is to find technological solutions that make it profitable to build floating wind farms at sea. Expertise at Sintef and NTNU are working to capture wind that can replace coal, oil and gas. The possibilities are nearly endless, but Tande and his colleagues are in a race against time and rising temperatures.

Trondheim – The city of geniuses

Borgar Ljosland and his fellow students from NTNU were sitting in a bar when they hit on a great idea, and the conversation went something like this: “Should we do it this way or that way? Which is best? This way? Yes! Write it down on the napkin, quick!” The friends had discovered that it was possible to significantly improve mobile phones. A formula on a piece of paper produces perfect display graphics with minimal use of power. Their recipe for a new processor was to be the best in the world. Shockingly ambitious, but it worked. Borgar conquered the world. Did you know that over 13,000 people in Trondheim work in the technology sector? The city is home to 750 technology companies and offers unprecedented opportunities for people who are looking for an exciting job or have their own ideas for a smart start-up.

Carbon capture and storage | The hunt for the dangerous gas

The evil ‘climate genie’ is threatening the world as we know it. Mona Jacobsen Mølnvik has to catch him before it’s too late. Sintef’s Research Director is heading up work on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Trondheim. The city is an international hub for efforts to develop a technology to “bottle” greenhouse gases. The EU has named Trondheim the CCS capital of Europe, which would appear logical since it was two researchers at none other than Sintef who came up with the idea of capturing CO2 and storing the gas deep under the seabed. More than 30 years later, in laboratories and research centres, a quiet but dramatic race against time is underway. Now it’s a question of making the method effective and cheap enough to roll out on a large scale, before climate change spirals dangerously out of control.