Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Fighting road congestion

An EU project used traditional and more dynamic forms of traffic data to monitor traffic congestion. The result is a new and improved information service offered by transportation organisations.
Fighting road congestion
Traffic congestion is getting worse, yet new roads and other infrastructure alone cannot solve the problem due to limited space, environmental concerns and economic considerations. More recent solutions include better management of existing networks, utilising information and communication technologies, thus resulting in significant improvements.

However, integrating the various traditional and modern kinds of traffic data is a challenge. Attempting to address the problem was the 'International demonstrations of platform for transport planning and travel information' (VIAJEO) project. The 25-member consortium, including 9 organisations from Brazil and China, ran for 3 years from September 2009 to October 2012. With EUR 3.6 million in EU funding, the project aimed to develop an open platform for transport services. That means integrating traditional traffic management data such as fixed-position loop data with newer forms such as floating vehicle data.

Floating vehicle data uses Global Positioning System (GPS) data from equipped vehicles to provide speed information, which can be processed to calculate road congestion. The project's goals also included improving existing transport services and developing new services. Services may include congestion warnings (including suggestions for alternate routes) and arrival time information for buses. The project focused on traffic management in four demonstrator cities: Athens, Beijing, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.

Additional targets included implementation of the open platform in Europe, China and Brazil, validation of the platform and assessment of impacts resulting from the demonstration.

The project began with a review of existing and planned systems in the demonstrator cities. The review included data available for the project, and the coverage and quality of this information. Researchers conducted a user survey in the four cities, the results of which were used for a gap analysis.

The analysis dictated the project's priorities for functionality and, using that, the project developed an open platform accessing different data types. Subsequently, each of the four cities implemented the platform with available data sources. The performance of the systems was evaluated using questionnaire surveys.

As a result of VIAJEO's work, transport providers and managers have been able to implement new traffic management services specific to each city. These mean better information and/or smoother traffic flow.

Related information


Record Number: 89972 / Last updated on: 2012-12-18
Domain: Environment