Traffic Data Management – Administration, Modelling and Forecast
First, traffic data has to be collected, sorted, and, if necessary, prepared and processed in order to be able to improve traffic flow. There are different traffic data sources, such as network and process data, describing the road network and the technical conditions: Where are traffic lights located? What kind of programs do they use? How are they synchronised? Where are detectors and traffic signs located? Dynamic data complement this and other information: How much traffic uses a given road? What is the travel speed? Where do unforeseen incidents, such as road accidents, happen? Where are foreseeable incidents, such as permanent construction sites or major events? Moreover, online data has to be taken into account. This includes floating car data (FCD) which refers to data being collected by individual vehicles that are part of the current traffic flow as well as loop and infrared data.
All data has to be entered into a traffic management system in order to compute traffic conditions and forecasts and to assess data quality. The results can then be used for traffic control and planning. They are the basis for a variety of services, such as traffic messages, diversions or alerts for driver assistance systems.