DISTRIBUTED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ENABLES LOWER INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS AND HIGHER SOCIETAL BENEFITS



DISTRIBUTED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ENABLES LOWER INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS AND HIGHER SOCIETAL BENEFITS

Authors

Ben Rutten, TU Eindhoven, Carlo Van De Weijer, TomTom, Tom Van Woensel, TU Eindhoven

Description

Vehicle automation and communication technologies will change the current Traffic Management system towards an in-car based system, so-called in-car centric distributed traffic management (DTM). Topics: needed DTM components, societal benefits, saved governmental budgets, ROI.

Abstract

Currently road authorities measure network performance and use public signing to influence people. This approach is not sustainable due lack of effectiveness and high costs, especially with currently decreasing infrastructure funding. With market parties being able to offer more and better data at lower cost, and with in-car systems taking over the role of communication to the driver, there is a big opportunity for road authorities making traffic management (TM) drastically more efficient and effective. The emerging vehicle automation and communication technologies will change the traditional set-up of infrastructure-based sensor information and actuator devices towards an increasing in-car system involvement, leading to a so-called in-car centric distributed traffic management (DTM) approach. In such a system, a new opportunity for in-car devices and services will emerge, supported by wireless communication technologies.

In the envisaged paper, we will shortly elaborate on the minimum set of components needed for an effective in-car centric DTM system. Subsequently, we will show that massive introduction of such a system is very beneficial for improving the societal goals of efficiency, safety and environment. We will describe the societal benefits during the transition phase and the potentially avoided TM costs, saving governmental budgets.

The in-car centric DTM approach starts from an individual perspective using an in-car co-operative mobility device (CMD). This can be done respecting societal restrictions and measures that are fully supported in this CMD approach. With this individual approach a high follow-up ratio by the driver is reached. This is quite another approach compared to the current way of working, where drivers get advised by variable message signs (VMS), radio bulletins and basic navigation devices with traditional low quality traffic information, which give many times non consistent and conflicting information as they originate from different sources and service providers, resulting in a low follow-up ratio by the driver.
New generation connected navigation systems already made a first promising step. These systems can exchange location information and doing so help other systems with real-time traffic information to give the best possible routing advise, with a consequent higher follow up ratio. But there is more to come.

In this paper we will describe the basic functions of the in-car system, which in a next step can be extended by adding more functionality. The system contains an on-board computer (the CMD) with some pre-installed Apps and services (map, navigation, real time traffic information, speed advice, green wave), which have individual benefits for the user and at a certain penetration ratio as a result results in societal benefits of less congestion, less accidents and less emissions. The system concept allows adding more Apps in a next step simply downloadable by the user.
The CMD is an in-car computer connected via the Internet by 3G/4G wireless communication capabilities to a central back-office (BO), and supported by an IEEE 802.11p standard WIFI communication module for direct communication between cars and between car and infrastructure. For location positioning it has a GPS sensor.
The CMD connects to a central BO, where the traffic state of the complete road network is available. This central BO is acting as a fully automated traffic management center (TMC), and is regionally distributed. The software stack for the TMC is not restricted to any physical location and can be deployed in the cloud on a regional base.
The data needed for calculating the traffic state of the complete road network is collected from different sources, mainly Floating Car Data (FCD) and fused with other available sources.
Generally speaking, new innovations cause that existing working processes become less relevant and even gradually disappear and become obsolete. When in-car centric DTM is adapted at a large scale, several currently existing and practiced TM working principles are no longer needed. One can think of VMS along the roads for route choice advice, which are fully replaced by personalized information via the HMI of the CMD. But also investments in TMCs must be reviewed as well as data collection methods.

We will show that an in-car centric DTM approach is revolutionizing the current way of TM. But moreover it brings us large societal benefits. The cloud connected CMD plays a central role in the system. At a CMD penetration rate of 40%, for the Netherlands the estimated societal costs benefits are estimated at 1,4 billion Euros per year, meaning 10,3% societal cost savings. Conclusion is that the introduction of in-car centric DTM is already feasible on short term and has a societal return on investment of 3 to 4 years. But knowing that the added value for consumers is high, the main investment will be done by consumers, possibly financially stimulated by the authorities to speed up implementation. Doing so, a self-fueled system is introduced that can take traffic management very quickly to a better future.

Publisher

Association for European Transport