Road congestion is increasing and costs the EU about 1% of GDP. The daily congestion on today’s roads requires an innovative solution of traffic management systems. In order to provide such a solution, the ITS applications for traffic control, transport management, environmental monitoring and multimedia mobility information need to cooperate fully in order to implement traffic management strategies. The Instant Mobility (IM) project is developing and exploring a concept for transforming the mobility of persons and goods in the future through the application of advanced Internet Technologies. In the Instant Mobility vision, every journey and every transport movement is part of a fully connected and self-optimising ecosystem. Whatever the traveller's situation, Instant Mobility will deliver useful Future Internet enabled information and services.
The IM project kicked-off in April 2011. During the first 10 months of the Instant Mobility project, many technical agreements have been reached within the consortium, which is a basic and fundamental achievement that will allow the start of conceptual prototyping work. One of the most important results of the project is the definition of three Development Scenarios:
In the last scenario, the specific innovation proposed by Instant Mobility is to use the cloud capabilities of Future Internet to create innovative services that reside in-the-cloud or that use the core platform capabilities. These emerging hybrids of proprietary and cloud applications will result in a new class of distributed applications, and will reduce costs by eliminating the need to buy specific platforms. Transport agencies will be able to use all existing infrastructure-based technologies for data collection. Alongside this data, they will also have access to information from other sources, as all of this data will be available in-the-cloud.
The Transport Infrastructure as a Service scenario will be implemented in the city of Trondheim, one of the IM pilot cities. Trondheim has 176.000 inhabitants (3rd city in Norway, with a growth rate of 15% in the last 10 years). The Public Roads Administration is responsible for utilising the priority requests from the buses and to give priority to public transport through 70 signalized intersections fitted with adaptive signalling . The adaptive signalling is mainly based on inductive loops and CCTV. All these data sources provide a comprehensive basis for estimating the travel times within the road network for Trondheim. In order to effectively use this large amount of data and to achieve efficient urban traffic management, the city deployed an integrated supervision platform, capable of interacting with existing monitoring and surveillance systems. In order to go beyond the-state-of-the-art and to get advantages from the outcomes of Instant mobility project, the city of Trondheim, together with Mizar, proposed two main use cases in the IM project: Virtualised intersection intelligence and Area-wide optimisation strategies. In Virtualised intersection intelligence, traffic control operations are hosted on the Internet, in secure virtual traffic signal controllers (Virtual Road Side Units) and a virtual traffic centre, leaving local systems the task of providing safety controls and communications. On the other hand, adaptive technologies allow the traffic controller to adjust its red/green cycle in real time, depending on actual traffic conditions. Virtualised components require effortless intervention to repair in comfortable environment (e.g. server-farms) and are characterised by seamless configuration, with easy installation and upgrade possibilities, thanks to a web-based virtual desktop interface. Only a robust and reliable communication service is required.
The area-wide optimisation strategies use case is focused in the provision of a modular solution that can collect data from different sources and mash‐up it by applying different strategies of aggregation. This service will concentrate on providing data from different perspectives and summarising it in a way that can feed algorithms and strategies of traffic management. Self–learning strategies and algorithms for traffic network flow prediction will be applied, linking to any 3rd party data in a city that directly or indirectly collects traffic information and creating specific APIs that link cloud content providers, making use of mash-up technologies.
Figure above: Innovation in traffic supervision and forecasts
The most important benefits for the stakeholders of this use case are linked to the complete representation of traffic conditions over the network, for defining precise strategies at area wide level and control level, and the possibility to have precise dynamic macro & micro routing info, traffic recommendations, signal control and speed advices. The efficient utilisation of 3rd party data will reduce the costs for monitoring equipments, also providing high quality and high availability data, suitable for network forecasts (e.g. traffic flows or travel time).
The next steps of Instant Mobility project will be the finalisation of the definition process for the low-level architecture, in order to identify the Specific Enablers needed by each Development Scenario. In addition, the implementation of a conceptual prototype, which will demonstrate all the benefits given by Instant Mobility to all the aspects of the traveller’s experience. The project will prepare a plan for trial implementations (Phase 2), using a Transport and Mobility Internet platform as a subset of the full FI-PPP core platform. Finally, the project will put forward its research for support to standardisation, either for FI standards and for standards in the Transport and Mobility domain.