New technologies for traffic planning

  • Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Motionlogic and software specialist PTV Group team up to integrate swarm data into traffic models
  • A new dimension in the planning and optimization of urban traffic
Data Analytics: New technologies for traffic planning

The digital transformation is enabling new forms of traffic planning. Cutting-edge technologies now make it possible to map traffic flows faster and more precisely, helping provide transportation companies with more reliable traffic flow forecasts. This is the area in which Motionlogic and PTV have entered into a ground-breaking cooperation, one that has already passed the acid test with a pilot traffic model for the city of Karlsruhe, Germany.

“By integrating swarm data from Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network into our specialized software, we can optimize urban traffic flows,” says Frédéric Reutenauer, Vice President at PTV. This makes it possible to visualize not only individual traffic precincts, but also the percentage of people traveling, for example, from precinct A to precinct B. The innovation lies in the use of precise origin-destination matrices based on swarm data. This information on the start and end points of journeys made within an urban area is of crucial interest to traffic planners. Until now, assumptions regarding commuters’ destinations were frequently modeled using the data collected from surveys of the commuters themselves. But such surveys are both time-consuming and cost-intensive, and do not always allow researchers to draw statistically robust conclusions. Now, the new method enables traffic flows to be broken down on an hourly basis, making them substantially more precise.

The partnership between Motionlogic and PTV means that, for the first time, cities and municipalities can map traffic flows between individual precincts. That will enable them to proactively simulate and plan different scenarios for private and public transport, whether they are modeling large-scale traffic flows or focusing on details in much smaller areas. Transportation companies can thus identify actual demand, gear their existing – and new – traffic concepts to it, and provide their customers with the capacity they need.

Motionlogic, which specializes in data analyses, has its origins in Telekom Innovation Laboratories, Deutsche Telekom’s research and development arm. Since March 2015, Motionlogic has been offering data privacy-compliant analyses of traffic and movement flows based on anonymized signaling data from the mobile network. That enables researchers to carry out aggregate analyses, which were previously either impossible or very costly to perform. Based in Karlsruhe, the PTV Group specializes in traffic and transportation, and its dedicated software supports traffic visualization, modeling and optimization.

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