Alleviating traffic with technology:
PTV Optima 17 facilitates integration and offers new interfaces

Intelligent transportation systems like PTV Optima are the key to manage and control congested traffic networks.

Intelligent transportation systems like PTV Optima are the key to manage and control congested traffic networks.

While the number of cars on the road has surpassed the 1 billion-unit already in 2010, it will nearly double by 2040. This trend increases the demand for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to manage and control overly congested traffic networks. PTV Optima is the key to successful traffic management offering precise real-time information and producing reliable forecasts for the next 60 minutes. Its latest release, PTV Optima 17, comes with a new interface connecting the PTV technology to the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) offering more data and facilitating the integration in thousands of cities where SCATS is available. Other new features include TRE dynamic equilibrium assignment algorithm, extended data fusion engine, predefined data API and HyperPath Alternative Paths.

Originally developed in Australia, today SCATS is licensed to operate in over 37,000 intersections in 27 countries worldwide, among others in Brazil, China, Singapore and the USA. Thanks to the new interface, PTV Optima 17 can be connected to SCATS in order to further optimise a city’s network in real time. Enriched with more data, the goal is to reduce delays, increase a system’s efficiency and reroute vehicles around congested intersections or accidents. To deliver measurable results and to ensure the best timing of signal phases for any traffic situation, SCATS uses sensors at traffic signals and induction loops installed within the road pavement. As the different traffic signals are able to communicate traffic data amongst themselves, they can synchronise and minimise wait times at intersections. Users of PTV Optima 17 benefit from this additional data input and can make more informed decisions as they know the exact traffic flow at every intersections and traffic signal.

Improving traffic flows with more accurate predictions
PTV Optima 17 also comes with an optimised engine for offline calibrations. The TRE (traffic real-time equilibrium) dynamic assignment algorithm is the core of PTV Optima 17 and has received an update to make more accurate offline assignments. This results in a more precise model which in turn improves the predictions for the entire system. What is more: As calibrating and validating the model takes up less time, the new release increases the efficiency of the set-up process. Future users of PTV Optima benefit from a shorter set-up process saving them time and money.

Reducing complexity in the system integration process
As PTV Optima combines proven offline traffic modelling with real-time data, it is not only the sheer amount of data that benefits users. It is also about the right mix of data coming from various sources that allows for more accurate predictions. Thus, PTV Optima 17 with its extended data fusion engine supports not only the ingestions of floating car data, automatic number-plate recognition and road aggregated detector information. Now, the PTV solution is also able to ingest single lane-based traffic counts to determine more accurately where traffic stands still. This equips traffic management centres with very detailed information, on which to build their intervention strategy. But more importantly, it facilitates the system integration process, as it is no longer necessary to aggregate by road direction. Instead, the traffic data can be sent directly from the lanes and PTV Optima 17 takes over the aggregation from there.

Apropos facilitating the integration: With the Predefined Path API, PTV Optima 17 also debuts a new API to define and monitor corridors, for example main arteries of a network. System integrators or IT managers can call this API from a third-part software component without switching to the Traffic Supervisor, PTV Optima’s web-based graphical user interface.

Proposing alternative routes with HyperPath’s public transport prediction
As cities always need to stay ahead of traffic using a precise and reliable real-time traffic management system like PTV Optima, this also includes providing multiple alternative paths ready to be integrated into navigation solutions, such as urban mobility apps. This is why with PTV Optima 17, cities can use the multi-modal journey planner, HyperPath, to balance the usage of their network and prevent highly used roads from getting even more packed with vehicles. Based on the predictions by PTV Optima’s ETA module for public transport, HyperPath proposes more accurate and updated alternative routes to facilitate navigation.

Do you want to learn more about what’s possible with PTV Optima? Find out more about all the other features PTV Optima offers. Join the conversation and connect with our real-time traffic management experts, Bob Randsdorp and Luca Paone, on LinkedIn.