PTV Group successfully integrates real-time transport model in York
Software by ITS (UK) member PTV for predictive traffic modelling has been successfully deployed in the City of York by a project team led by City of York Council, consultancy firm Wood Group and in partnership with PTV Group and independent strategic modelling experts RelativeGAP.
PTV says this is the first real-time transport model to be used for live traffic management in Great Britain, and a component of the City of York’s “Smarter Travel Evolution Program – STEP”, which is funded by the UK Government.
Like many UK cities, York – a vibrant city, with traffic congestion, pollution and accessibility challenges – has turned to innovation and cutting-edge technology. Historically, City of York Council (CYC) managed the live transport network through staff monitoring CCTV and social media feeds, with Network Monitoring Operators (NMOs) and transport engineers manually implementing new plans and signal changes to ease network issues. With PTV Optima installed in the control room, NMOs now adopt a more pro-active approach in monitoring and influencing the network.
The York Optima real-time model is a rolling live prediction of traffic conditions across the City. It combines offline dynamic transport models with live traffic data to provide the control room with a network-wide forecast of current and forecast congestion. The model is integrated with over 100 live traffic flow sensors, 100+ live signal controllers, live speed data across the network provided by TomTom, and up-to-date information about roadworks and other network changes.
The live model combines all this data into a single view and a single ground truth. The control room uses this information to see in good detail what is happening across the whole network, and not only in those locations with sensors or CCTV. Optima also allows the control room to test alternative scenarios for the next hour ahead, next day, or weeks in the future. The City therefore has an operational road modelling asset for monitoring current conditions, planning for the near future, observing how plans play out, and using this knowledge to improve future strategies.
Dave Atkinson, Head of Programmes and Smart Place at City of York council, explained: “We’re delighted to be the first city in the UK to introduce this innovative and cutting-edge technology to improve journeys and pollution in York.
“Over the last 12 months we have worked closely with Wood & PTV to deliver the Optima real-time traffic model. At this early stage it’s already proving to be a success. We’re able to predict future traffic levels based on our live traffic behavior and manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.”
PTV UK Technical Director Michael Oliver said: “Working with City of York Council and the other project partners has been a privilege. I have seen for myself how the conflation of transport planning, traffic engineering and real-time data can deliver an impressive traffic management solution”.
(Picture – PTV)