A pilot system of traffic analysis using floating-car data, looks set to ease the problems of motorists in Vienna.
Developed by Arsenal Research in collaboration with an Austrian taxi company, the FCD (Floating-Car Data) system calculates traffic density at 15 minute intervals and provides accurate journey times for any given route within the Viennese road network.
Eighty of the city's taxis have been fitted with GPS receivers and are polled every quarter of an hour for their position in the network. The resulting data is analysed using a complex series of mathematical models and simulations.
"(Because of the small number of vehicles involved), it has been no easy task," said Dietrich Leihs, the manager of Arsenal Research transport technology department. "The system enables the prediction of the evolution of the traffic as well as advising on the best itinerary possible."
Early results are, according to the company, encouraging. Controls carried out on pre-determined journeys comparing predicted with actual journey times have matched well, although more work is still needed to check the results.
"An exact procedure for journey times measurement has not yet been put into place," explained Leighs
In the long term, Arsenal Research are considering the use of mobile phones as traffic measurement devices as a more economical solution.