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The Project MODUM

Rationale

Transport congestion problems contribute about 70% of pollutants to urban environments. The transport sector by itself consumes up to 30% of the total energy in the EU. These figures suggest that if Europe is to reduce its CO2 emissions by making an efficient use of energy while improving the quality of life in European cities, novel approaches for the optimal management of urban transport complexity must be developed and adopted in the transport sector.

Objectives

The MODUM project addressed the environmental footprint in the transport sector by developing a new approach for pro-active demand-responsive management of traffic. On the one hand the MODUM system supports the traffic management departments of cities in their efforts to minimise the environmental impact of traffic and improve the quality of life in urban environments, and on the other hand the MODUM system also helps citizens to tackle the dynamic variations and unexpected disturbances in urban traffic by adopting energy-efficient multi-modal transport choices.

Approach

MODUM focused on the comparison and the synthesis of two modelling approaches: 1) a traffic flow self-organising mechanism based on ant-like agent technology and 2) a “reverse” route planning based on software agent technology; using real-time data and declared destinations. Both mechanisms have proven successful in other application domains and have the potential of utilising vehicles' computational power and networking capabilities for achieving their active participation in the demand-response management of urban traffic.

Demo Bild 1

In the MODUM project the metrics for the comparison of the two models were extracted from real needs of traffic control centres and from transport users in selected cities. A series of simulation experiments of realistic complexity was constructed using real-time data feeds available from transport sensing infrastructure. Results from these simulation experiments profiled the two approaches against certain scenarios of traffic disturbances causing rapid changes in conditions. Based on these results a “Synthesis Model for Low-Carbon Traffic Management” was developed by the academic partners within the MODUM project.

Software implementation of this synthesised approach focused on the telecommunication challenges of two realistic demonstrators: the city of Nottingham (UK) and the city of Sofia (BG). The developed prototype was validated by staging real-life experiments in Nottingham and in Sofia, which the relevant traffic management structures within the traffic control centres of these cities evaluated. These experiments included historical data and simulations in combination with real-time data feeds from existing infrastructure and vehicles going through a section of the cities in a number of congestion profiles. Analogous experiments included people moving in the cities by different means of transport.

The prototype of the MODUM system provides an implementation of an optimisation approach to traffic management, which is capable of dynamically adapting the overall flows of traffic to unexpected disturbances in order to minimise carbon emissions within an urban complex environment. To ensure practical efficiency an implementation strategy was devised including the likely reactions of commuters to the suggestions of the system. Widespread implementation of the MODUM system provides the potential for a consequent reduction in both pollution levels and energy consumption in the transport sector.

Demo Chart 1

Results

As a research project, MODUM pushed the state-of-the-art in the scientific domain of pro-active traffic control and delivered new knowledge in the area in terms of models and requirements (demand and supply side).

However, MODUM was not only a research project, but developed a prototype system that can be implemented in cities all over Europe. The “package” that MODUM offers to city councils basically comprises of two parts: the MODUM Integrated Simulation Model, and the MODUM applications for mobile phones and in-car devices.

The MODUM Integrated Simulation Model, a bundle of software that models the current and near-future traffic situation on the city’s whole road network based on sensor data and/or floating car information and calculates routing information based on this modelled traffic situation, is at the core of the MODUM system. It helps traffic operators to monitor the actual traffic situation in the city, and to plan appropriate interventions for improving the situation.

Modum Client

Visualisation Web Client for Traffic Operators

MODUM applications for mobile phones and for mobile (in-car) devices enable citizens to use the MODUM multimodal routing information for their trips.

Modum System

Modum

MODUM addresses the environmental footprint in the transport sector by developing a new approach for pro-active demand-responsive management of traffic. This approach enables energy-efficient multi-modal transport choices accommodating dynamic variations, minimising the environmental impact and improving the quality of life in urban environments.

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