Getting Out of a Jam – Geoinformation for the Mobility of the Future
There are many places on Germany’s approximately 650,000 kilometres of road that are on the verge of a traffic meltdown – and it really is no wonder considering the over 52 million vehicles that clock up a total daily mileage of more than 2.5 billion kilometres. Keeping road traffic flowing, and making it safer and more environmentally friendly, are among the greatest challenges our society and its planners face. Geoinformation plays a vital role in making the right decisions. Between 7 and 9 October 2014, Berlin will play host to INTERGEO, the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, where trendsetting solutions for the mobility of the future will take centre stage.
Interesting data for traffic planners is collected with enviroCar (www.envirocar.org). This project from the 52° North research network and the University of Münster Institute for Geoinformatics invites ordinary people to get actively involved in the issue of mobility and the environment. Using the enviroCar as a platform for citizen science projects, issues can be addressed that involve traffic flow, traffic management, energy consumption and pollution levels. With the help of a Bluetooth OBD-II adaptor and the free enviroCar app, drivers can see data about their driving and adapt their driving style to be more environmentally friendly, for example. Once it has been transmitted to the enviroCar server, the data is available to the community as anonymous open data. The enviroCar website provides the opportunity to publish and discuss ideas, data, analyses and resulting findings using ArcGIS Online.
“We have collected over 300,000 measured values so far,” says Dr. Albert Remke, CEO of 52° North. Since much of the data originates from its region, Münster also benefits greatly from the project. For example, a hotspot analysis has been published on the enviroCar website that shows the CO2 values measured in the Münster municipal area. EnviroCar Tracks shows all the journeys for which the platform has so far collected data. “We have already reached about 1,200,” says Remke. The data shows the measured speeds.
Remke is thrilled by the contacts that have been made through the project. The enviroCar partners are the Professorship for Geoinformatics at Dresden Technical University, Bochum University of Applied Science, the Faculty of Geoinformation and Earth Observation at the University of Twente and con terra GmbH, which showcased the project at INTERGEO in 2013. Esri provides support for enviroCar as its global sponsor.
Remke also talks about contacts with Hunter College in New York. He says there may be an opportunity to take advantage of the proximity of taxi companies to enhance the enviroCar project. “If we calculate indicators for traffic flow in New York, these can be used all over the world via the internet,” says Remke.
Traffic as part of the iZEUS research project (www.izeus.de). Smart Traffic refers to the intelligent control of traffic flows based on automatically recorded data relating to traffic density, weather and environmental pollution, for instance. The data comes from sensors at the side of the road or in the road, or from GPS systems in the cars. The data can be used to control traffic lights in line with traffic volume, divert traffic flows or create ad hoc green zones. Furthermore, it is possible to calculate the best use of transport – whether to switch to buses and trains or to travel in an electric car. ads-tec, Daimler, EnBW, Fraunhofer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Opel, PTV, SAP and TWT have come together in the iZEUS (intelligent Zero Emission Urban System) research project to drive forward research, development and practical demonstrations in the fields of energy, vehicles and traffic. Alongside Smart Traffic, the project is also focussing on Smart Grid – after all, iZEUS is intended to optimise the integration of renewable energy sources and stabilise distribution networks through decentralised energy and charging management.
Again under the ““Geoinformation for cutting-edge infrastructures” heading, Timo Hoffmann will be showing the kind of expertise possessed by the PTV Group when it comes to integrating traffic safety into strategic traffic planning decisions from the very beginning. An analysis tool visualises accident data gathered by the police to devise “new possibilities for local authorities to deliver safe road traffic”. Accident blackspots and stretches of road that are prone to accidents become clear, and accident times are put into context. It becomes possible to draw conclusions about the causes of the accidents. Finally, traffic planners can effectively and cost-efficiently factor in the identified safety aspects.
INTERGEO is the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. A total of 16,383 visitors from 90 countries came to the previous communication platform to find out about the innovations in the industry from 516 companies from 30 countries. The 20th INTERGEO will take place from 7 to 9 October 2014 in Berlin. Cutting-edge, crystal clear and bang up-to-date – find out more on the new INTERGEO website: http://www.intergeo.de.