Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combating traffic congestion with advanced data analytics

17.08.2016

Fraunhofer IAO and Telefónica Deutschland are investigating how cell phone data could benefit traffic planning

Researchers at Fraunhofer IAO are carrying out a study to determine whether data from cell phone networks could offer a reliable source of information for traffic planning and an improvement over current data collection methods. Telefónica Deutschland is supporting the research project by providing anonymized cell phone data.


Data on the move – from smartphone to anonymization to traffic measurement

Stuttgart is facing major challenges in regard to mobility and traffic. The city is struggling with congestion, excessive noise and stress, and there is a clear need to improve air quality. This deteriorating situation has prompted the state capital of Baden-Württemberg –and a growing number of other cities – to seek out new ways of optimizing transport planning and mobility management.

Access to accurate transport data is one of the key prerequisites for taking concrete action. Collecting this data is a time-consuming business, however, and the results of these measurements frequently fail to reflect the huge variations in real-life situations.

Creating anonymized mobility profiles using cell phone data

This is where the intelligent analysis of cell phone data can make a big difference. This data is collected automatically during the normal course of business at Telefónica Deutschland – for example when a cell phone communicates with a cell tower to make a call or surf the Web – and it can be used to create anonymous mobility profiles.

Using cell phone data for transport planning and design would be an economical option that would offer round-the-clock availability and relatively easy access to broad samples. What’s more, the data could give cities the opportunity to tailor specific infrastructure projects more closely to people’s real needs by providing more accurate information on when and where people travel.

Fraunhofer IAO study to stretch over several months

As part of a three-and-a-half month research project, Fraunhofer IAO is conducting a study to investigate whether mobility data is suitable for measuring traffic flows in cities and whether it is superior to other methods of collecting data. The first step is for the researchers to analyze the status quo of traffic measurement methods based on case studies and interviews with experts.

The next step for the research team will be to shift their emphasis to Stuttgart by comparing the data from existing traffic surveys conducted in the region with the insights obtained from the city’s cell phone data. One of the key things the researchers will be focusing on is the real-life variation caused by factors such as heavy rain or major events being held in the region. The hope is that this study will reveal how much potential this data source offers in comparison to other data collection methods.

Telefónica Deutschland is the research partner who will be providing the required cell phone data. This data is anonymized in a three-step process certified by TÜV Saarland, which ensures that customers’ personal data is fully protected. This process makes it impossible to link the data to individual customers. Markus Haas, Chief Operating Officer of Telefónica Deutschland, hopes that the study will provide impetus for further projects in the field of advanced data analytics: “As a network operator, our core business yields huge quantities of data. We’re pleased that such a prestigious institute is investigating whether we could contribute toward improving transport planning by analyzing this data.”

Stuttgart – the perfect test city

Back in 2013, Stuttgart’s mayor Fritz Kuhn led an initiative which saw the state capital develop a new sustainable mobility action plan known as “Nachhaltig mobil in Stuttgart.” The plan included details of the key measures to be taken by the local authorities in nine fields of action. This is exactly the kind of scenario where the Fraunhofer IAO study can provide vital information in regard to issues such as upcoming roadworks and the availability of public transport.

Dr. Michael Münter, who heads up the strategic planning and sustainable mobility department at Stuttgart city council, explains why the study is important: “Many people understandably wish to have as much individual mobility as possible. We need to achieve an acceptable balance between people’s individual mobility needs, environmental concerns, and the interests of the city and the people who live here. Our action plan to promote sustainable mobility in Stuttgart aims to highlight innovative urban mobility projects that have a promising future. That’s why we’re looking forward to getting the results from Fraunhofer IAO on how we can use cell phone data for transport planning and design in Stuttgart.”

The potential of data analytics for traffic and the environment

Telefónica Deutschland hopes that the results of the study will provide it with further valuable insights for its work in the field of advanced data analytics. The telecommunications company is already running a pilot project in Nuremberg to investigate the extent to which air pollution can be calculated on the basis of cell phone data. The results of Fraunhofer IAO’s project will provide further insights into the potential benefits of data analytics for transport and the environment.

Prof. Anette Weisbecker, deputy director of Fraunhofer IAO, explains how the study will help: “It’s a complex business getting precise measurements of traffic flows in cities. Our study will reveal the extent to which transport planners could use mobile phone data to achieve more accurate, efficient and cost-effective results.”

The study forms part of the broad array of research conducted by the Fraunhofer IAO in the mobility arena. The Institute is carrying out numerous studies to determine how people choose to be mobile, both now and in the future. It uses its expertise in this area to help companies and institutions introduce new business models and efficient processes.

Contact:
Alexander Schmidt
Phone: +49 711 970-5351
E-Mail: alexander.schmidt@iao.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.iao.fraunhofer.de/lang-en/about-us/press-and-media/1273-combating-tr...
http://www.stuttgart.de/nachhaltig-mobil
https://blog.telefonica.de/daten-stiften-nutzen

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

Northwestern discovery tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods

Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material...

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Artificial intelligence meets materials science

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find

19.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>