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 - MODUM Newsletter -
FINAL RESULTS OF MODUM

FINAL RESULTS OF MODUM 

MODUM not only provided a useful app for commuters and an informative system for traffic managers, it is also backed by dedicated server infrastructure that can be deployed anywhere. The software implementation of the synthesised approach focuses on the telecommunication challenges of a realistic demonstrator. MODUM’s prototype was validated by staging real-life experiments, which were evaluated by the relevant traffic management structures within the traffic control centres. In addition, the MODUM project also created a structured evaluation framework which was used in the deployment stages of the application. This evaluation framework is novel, in that it is essential to ensure that the right validation methods and assessments will be properly carried out in order to have robust and clearly interpretable results at the end. Furthermore, the evaluation methodology is based on the CONVERGE and MAESTRO project guidelines for technical assessment, adapted to the specific nature of the MODUM system. The framework consists of two major evaluation levels: one dealing with the evaluation of the models used for the MODUM application, and another one that puts the focus on the assessment of the application in terms of technical performance, expected impacts, and user acceptance.

Testing and demonstration was done in two cities that served as candidates for field trials. These cities were Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and Sofia in Bulgaria. Both cities were specifically chosen as they are at two ends of a spectrum: Nottingham has a rich traffic management infrastructure with real-time video support and active intervention, and is thus characterised as a mature traffic management environment. Sofia on the other hand, has, in comparison with Nottingham, very little active traffic management. Traffic lights are controlled independently through local controllers and the strategy for dealing with incidents is reactive, rather than proactive. The absence of any significant level of coordinated traffic management infrastructure, coupled with the efforts underway to deploy new infrastructure and the availability of GPS logging, make characterise Sofia as a more immature traffic management environment. Both cities provide a well-suited range of testgrounds for our MODUM application. In addition, the consortium was also in contact with Coventry, leading to another project in which parts of MODUM are used, such that we address the flexibility of our proposed solution for deployment in other cities as well.

The main results from the MODUM project show that it is feasible for a city to provide such an app, thereby directly tying into the needs of daily commuters who wish to more efficiently organise their personal mobility. The fact that public transport information can be seamlessly integrated within the application framework is a huge bonus for systems that provide routing advice. Furthermore, MODUM allowed commuters to a priori determine the performance of their trips, by serving them with up-to-date real-time information in one single view, something that hitherto was not easily possible. Given the number of trips made by the field trial users within the projects, we can state that the app is both stable and userfriendly, two very important characteristics for successful apps, leading to a higher user retention rate.

The impact of the MODUM application will only be significant if it is to be implemented on a wider scale. There are two aspects involved here, one is how using the MODUM system by a broader user base within a city will lead to more global effects, and the other one is how the MODUM system can have benefits by expanding it to other European cities.

A traveller that has the MODUM system to his avail, will be better informed than some other travellers and has an advantage compared to them. Increasing the penetration of the MODUM system within the population will naturally lead to more informed drivers. If everybody uses the MODUM system, then it stands to reason that this will lead a system optimum of traffic load on the network. The main reason is because the app is predicting traffic conditions for the near future, and it does this for all the MODUM-equipped travellers in the system. As such, the system will continuously try to generate the best/greenest routes. If all users were (1) to choose the same cost function and (2) always follow the advice of the MODUM app, then the system will settle near an optimum. In this respect, the MODUM system provides a new method for nearing a system optimum, while still remaining based on dedicated routing advice to individual travellers. It thus bridges the gap between traffic operators and individual travellers, by means of enabling more optimal routing and traffic control.

When an expansion of the MODUM system to other European cities should occur, we need to be aware of the different legislative, financial, and social frameworks in various cities that can lead to possible barriers for the implementation of typical pilot and demonstration projects like these in a European context. Nevertheless, there is an inherent scalability in the solution that the MODUM system provides. This is because, as already explained, we deployed the system in two cities that are quite different in their characteristics with respect to the environment for traffic management. Because of this, it should be possible to expand the assessment results to most other European cities in a scaling up.

Download final brochure (PDF - 1.74 MB)

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CONTACT 

Dr. Sven Maerivoet
Central Contact for MODUM
Tel. +32 16 31.77.33
sven.maerivoet@tmleuven.be
Griet De Ceuster
Coordinator of MODUM
Tel. +32 16 31.77.30
griet.deceuster@tmleuven.be
The newsletter is published by the MODUM consortium in English and informs about the achievements of the project.
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For additional information about MODUM, please visit: http://modum-project.eu/
 
The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.