Traffic information Services
Digitalisation has had a major effect on how we navigate through traffic to reach our destination. Road authorities have a long history of providing drivers with information on incidents and accidents via roadside systems. Over the years, these systems have become more and more advanced, leading to today’s elaborate traffic management services based on common goals and principles for the greater good.
In parallel, the use of mobile and in-car information and navigation services is rapidly expanding. These services have obvious benefits for individual road users. Turn-by-turn navigation, information on speed limits, road blocks and traffic jams. And, as the most appealing feature, a calculation of the fastest route to a driver’s destination. Features that also anticipate a future of cooperative, connected and automated mobility. A future where a driver is supported more and more by systems.
The “Nash equilibrium”
Traffic engineers have long assumed that the Nash equilibrium describes real-world rush hours pretty well: a situation where drivers choose the fastest route, even though taking a longer route would help spread out traffic and ease congestion. Nobody is motivated to make a different decision than the one they are making because that would leave that individual worse off, even if it would improve overall group welfare.
Sharing data, aligning services
However, drivers also experience inconsistencies between the different information sources. Advice on roadside signs does not always match or may even conflict with the navigation advice. Also, when the original route to a destination suddenly becomes clogged with traffic jams, suggested alternative routes are not always suitable.
Enabling a future of safer, smoother and greener road transport means embracing the obvious benefits of individual traffic information and navigation services while overcoming their limitations and unwanted effects. As a means of promoting this, the SOCRATES2.0 partners share data and introduce traffic management in information and navigation services, and use the navigation system to improve the network performance. This is called interactive traffic management or Traffic Management 2.0.
A win for all
This public–private cooperation is expected to lead to a win-win-win situation for all stakeholders in the traffic management ecosystem. A win for road users and communities who receive better services during a better-facilitated journey, a win for the traffic management centres that gain enhanced overview and insights and new methods to implement traffic management, and a win for service providers who deliver these new messages and can offer better end-user services resulting in new business opportunities.
CEO of my journey
The SOCRATES2.0 partners aim to establish something new, and not just improve an existing concept. The idea of influencing traffic has to be transformed into supporting people on their journey from A to B. As such, the vision not only focuses on technology or the traffic management process, but also on the customer, community and cooperation.
The SOCRATES2.0 project
In the SOCRATES2.0 project, the partners aim to learn how to best cooperate, share relevant data, work towards common interfaces and agree on principles and business models, while taking each other’s interests into account and deploying interactive traffic management. Four city regions welcomed the team and enabled real-life testing of the cooperation by deploying newly developed SOCRATES2.0 end-user services. Over 20,000 road users participated in the pilots by using and evaluating the services to find out what works and what doesn’t.
In this magazine, the SOCRATES2.0 partners are happy to present their journey on discovering how to shape public-private cooperation in a future of interactive traffic management.
Policy references and TM2.0
- Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy
- Cooperative, connected and automated mobility
- Traffic Management 2.0