The objective of the project is to investigate the feasibility of an interactive integrated system of assistance services for travel and traffic (ASTRA). ASTRA encompasses dynamic information, reservation and guidance services for travellers as well as assistance services for transportation operators (e.g. dynamic scheduling, connection and transfer management, shuttle bus operation). Furthermore, automatic debiting in connection with reservation and booking services could be supplied as well as the organisation of delivery services to promote a higher use of mass transit.
ASTRA's technical and financial feasibility is evaluated on the basis of the findings at two study sites of different size, infrastructure, traffic problems and nationality. The two cities are Bochum (Germany) and Helsingr (Denmark). There, the local traffic situation, transportation problems, requirements, constraints and the existing infrastructure are analyzed. Then specific system requirements are established for each city. On that basis a technical framework for the ASTRA system is outlined. Subsystems and components are specified.
The technical feasibility evaluates the system's impacts basically on the environment and transportation efficiency, comfort and safety. The financial feasibility, however, refers to an economic viability assessment. The findings are taken as recommendations for further system's design, development and testing.
The design of the technical system framework, its subsystems and components for each city is based on the results of a preceding ASTRA system design phase. There, the conceptual super-structure of ASTRA is established concentrating on those elements relevant for the feasibility studies. Furthermore, system components are described in detail as well as interfaces and databases.
The key issues will be the
investigation of user requirements,
investigation of traffic management requirements,
development of modules of the integrated, interactive system of assistance services for travel and traffic (ASTRA),
Functional integration of ASTRA in an overall transportation management scheme based on ATT applications,
proof of technical and financial feasibility of ASTRA for two test sites,
recommendations for further design, development and testing of ASTRA.
The main purpose of ASTRA is the demonstration of concepts for dynamic information, reservation and guidance services for travellers as well as assistance services for operators. The impacts of ASTRA are aiming at
improving transportation efficiency
improving road safety
improving environmental quality.
This can mainly be achieved by better strategic management tools and better information services. ASTRA will be designed for the integration of already existing (or to be developed) single systems for traffic management and information. Being a dynamic and integrating system ASTRA could be a significant element of Europe's future Integrated Road Telematics Environment.