During their last joint visit to the Moscow traffic management centre, the current mayor, Sergey Semyonovich Sobyanin, and Maxim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor and Head of the Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, said that Moscow’s newly implemented Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) stands out as one of the best in the world. At the heart of Moscow’s ITS system is PTV Optima. This model-based solution of the PTV Group provides accurate traffic information in real-time and enables dynamic forecasting for a timescale of 60 minutes.
With around 11.55 million inhabitants in central Moscow and 19 million when including the surrounding satellite suburbs, Moscow is one of the biggest cities in the world – and it has its fair share of traffic challenges too. Particularly during rush hour, the international metropolis has to contend with heavy congestion on its arterial and ring roads. To counter this, the city chose traffic management system PTV Optima.
“PTV Optima is the key to successful traffic management,” said Miller Crockart, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing Traffic Software, PTV Group. “To produce a coherent and detailed picture of traffic, PTV Optima collects, compares, validates and combines data from multiple sources.” Through a combination of real-time data, analytics and validated transport modelling, PTV Optima provides transport authorities with real-time traffic information for the entire road network. During the implementation in Moscow, emphasis was placed on the connection to the city’s signal control systems in particular. This will help traffic managers in future to react flexibly to traffic conditions through adaptive changes.
PTV Optima also produces reliable traffic forecasts for the next 60 minutes. Thanks to the model-based approach, there are also forecasts for minor roads where there is no initial data. “Our model-based approach is unmatched in its field,” explained Miller Crockart. In contrast to a purely statistical approach, which compares time profiles observed with historical samples, the model-based simulation approach relies on a physical interpretation of the traffic network and conditions. In this way, even the effects of unexpected and unprecedented events, such as accidents or road works, can be forecasted and the effects of alternative traffic management measures can be simulated in real-time. This provides ideal support to transport authorities, helping them to select and implement the best strategy from various options.
In addition to real-time traffic monitoring and its visualisation on the map, the dynamic transport model of Moscow has a number of additional modules. These include, for example, residency requirements and taxi occupancy rate, with the possibility of sending or creating “heat maps” in order to locate accident black spots on the transport network and eliminate their causes. “The use of these additional functions make the Moscow ITS system unique and raises the bar in megacity traffic management”, says Miller Crockart.