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Partnership in Launching further Useful Information Services

Setting the Scene

CAPITALS PLUS addresses the demonstration and validation of transport telematics information systems and services based on system developments achieved in TR1007 CAPITALS Project (Capitals´ Project on Integrated Telematics Applications on Large Scale).

Five European capitals Brussels (Co-ordinator), Paris including the city and the region Ile de France, Madrid, Rome and Berlin have agreed to extend their information platforms towards integrated mobility service platforms, interfacing these with servers containing multimodal data, such as public transport timetables, and information sources from parking and weather information systems. On the basis of these platforms, information services are being developed and demonstrated.


The objective is to extend the operational integrated platform (the Traffic Data Server) to multimodal information by providing the technical interfaces with other existing control centres (traffic monitoring systems in tunnels (cameras), public transport management system, traffic light control systems) and to support integrated information services for travellers and operators.
The technical approach addresses the extension of the Traffic Data Server to allow interfaces with intermediate users who intend to access databases available.

In the Traffic Data Server, different types of data are being integrated and processed. The data is archived and treated in order to build a synthetic view of the traffic situation indicating different levels of service on a map. This view is refined through the management of events. All the data stored in the Traffic Data Server can be consulted via workstations (real-time as well as archived data). Moreover, the Traffic Data Server broadcasts the high level information to the road users via specific messages sent to the mass media. In particular, the RTBF radio will broadcast a daily multimodal programme.

The objective is to extend the forecasting tool which is a basic part of the information (server) platform in order to optimise prediction and to integrate external events (weather, strikes, etc.). This extension is a pre-condition for the integration of forecast information in the generic mobility platform ie. the server to be set up for supporting the services.
This technical approach addresses the testing and extension of the system to a larger network taking into account the city area of Paris, the ring road and the peripheral motorways.
In-depth interviews are being performed to assess the daily acceptance of the tool by the operators, the efforts (daily integration of predictable events in the system) compared to the accuracy of results and the support brought in to the decision process. Tests are also being performed to check the conformity of prediction with real events afterwards.
Further data, such as weather information for forecasting, updated and historical traffic data, strike and demonstration events, is also being integrated.

The objectives are:
o To set up and demonstrate a service integrating data and information from existing systems on UTC, Public Transport and parking information.
o To provide estimated travel times to drivers via a VMS system on the M30 motorway.
The technical approach can be described on two levels - a hardware and a software related view on the multimodal information server platform: Existing systems such as the UTC, the parking information system and the Public Transport Information Server are being connected to a new server integrating data on traffic flow, parking place availability, public transport routes, best trip routing, taxi information, etc.
The link with the Public Transport information server is via two-way data exchange, i.e. transmitting also information on the road traffic situation back to Public Transport. This means that both the private transport authority (Municipality of Madrid) and the public transport one (CRTM) are able to exchange relevant information and data which was not accessible to them in such a simple way in the past.
The estimation of travel times on the M30 motorway ring road is based on the collection of real-time traffic information of the network through detectors and TV cameras and a short-term prediction for congestion analysis. This information is processed in the M30 Traffic Control Centre and communicated via VMS panels to drivers.

The objectives are:
o To interconnect further control centres i.e. that of the Public Transport Operator BVG to the existing Traffic Information Centre (TIC);
o To transform the TIC into a mobility platform for traffic information services with an extended functionality: multi-modal traffic information, implementation of a traffic situation prediction tool by use of historical floating-car data;
o To implement a simulation tool for traffic impact analysis in order to support event and traffic management by decision-makers.

The technical approach is based on the Traffic Information Centre (TIC), set up within the CAPITALS project and currently interconnected to the control centres of the Traffic Message Warning System (PTMC) and the Logistic Information System (LIS). The existing database of floating-car data from a previous project is being used for in-depth analysis on interdependencies to different traffic relevant impacts. Further interconnections to control centres of the Public Transport operator, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), are being realised in the scope of CAPITALS PLUS. Both the information concerning the traffic situation on the road network, as well as passenger pre-trip information for public transport, is to be integrated in the TIC and will be provided to the final users (passengers and drivers) via a service provider. This includes a trip planning assistance and messages on delays and diversion routes caused by construction works etc.
In addition to actual traffic information, the platform will realise and provide predictive functionalities for the actual day and day+1 traffic (weekdays) for two selected corridors in Berlin.

The objectives are:
o To create a user-friendly, easy-to-access information platform which provides mobility related information and services,
o To create a traffic control centre which integrates private and public applications and functions, so as to have centralised command and control.

These objectives require the creation of three umbrella centres, which aid in both the management of transportation applications and in keeping citizens informed of transportation options:
(1) A traffic control centre (TCC) which integrates private transportation applications, establishing centralised command and control functions and generating raw data on a geo-referenced network, in which the positions are compliant with ALERTC;
(2) A fully functional traffic information centre (TIC) which integrates additional event information to the TCC database. It processes the raw data into a more understandable/usable form but does not allow for command or control over the original applications;
(3) The creation of a variety of dissemination techniques, including one of the most critical-the telematics service centre (TSC)-which represents processed information from the TIC via internet and GSM, interfaces with users via standard protocols, and provides user services; other dissemination media would include TELEVIDEO, radio, self-service kiosks and possibly a call centre.

Results and Achievements

The expected results are:
o Integrated Mobility Service Platforms in all CAPITALS PLUS cities making use of existing and enhanced 'content' of traffic control and information systems providing added value information, i.e. on traffic situations (historical, actual, predicted data) through traffic messages (e.g. congestion, roadworks and Public Transport), simulation tools for decision making, travel time estimation for both individual and public transport, parking, access control and event information, etc.
o Pre-trip Information Services for trip planning using private cars and/or Public Transport and management decision support etc. in all the CAPITALS PLUS cities, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Rome, via Internet, Teletext, Fax on demand, GSM phone, Kiosks (Point of Information), Radio broadcasting, Management server etc.
o On-trip Information Services, i.e. travel time information via a VMS system to drivers on the Little Ring Road in Brussels, and travel time information (incl. a prediction) to drivers on the M30 Orbital Ring Road in Madrid.
o Access Control and Parking Information Services to drivers and travellers in Brussels (on parking) and in Rome (on access control and parking) including the related hard- and software installations for control and payment handling.

Contact Details

Contact person:
Pierre Schmitz, Region de Bruxelles Capitale
Tel: +32.2.204 1970
Fax: +32.2.204 1520
E-mail: (email removed)
Timescale: 01.12.98 - 30.11.00
Keywords: Integrated Mobility Service Platforms, Pre-trip Information Services, On-Trip Information Services, Access Control and Parking Information

Project Participants :
Ville de Paris (FR)
Senat Stadtentwicklung (DE)
Direction RĂ©gionale de l'Equipement d'Ile-de-France (DREIF/SIER) (FR)