Opticities event demonstrates use of ITS in multimodal public transport systems


At the end of April, CRTM (Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid) and UPM (Technical University of Madrid) hosted one of the five Opticities study tours and tutorial sessions to demonstrate the advanced intelligent transport systems (ITS) they have developed.

The tours and sessions provide high-quality multimodal information and coordination services to the public transport operators and passengers in the Spanish capital and its wider regional area.

Opticities is a project co-funded by the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate General for Research (DG RTD) under the framework of the FP7 program. The three-year project runs until October this year and has an overall budget of €13m (US$14.7m), which has been used in the research of managing integrated multimodal urban transport networks.

The six pilot cities involved in the project are Lyon (France), Madrid (Spain), Turin (Italy), Gothenburg (Sweden), Birmingham (UK), and Wroclaw (Poland), which have been working with a consortium of 25 partners from eight EU member states. At the Madrid event, around 30 participants, including urban practitioners and experts from the local and European ITS community, had the opportunity to see live demonstrations of CRTM’s communication and decision support tools.

The program also included presentations from Opticities partners Gothenburg and CSI Piemonte (Turin) on map-based applications and an introduction from HaCon on the common interface that is used to develop the Opticities multimodal urban navigator.

Gothenburg presented its advanced online road works management tool Nystart 2.0, which is used to approve, monitor and communicate road works. Detailed information on the different construction sites is included by the contractors, and in the future it will also be possible for citizens, local businesses and freight operators to add and use data. CSI Piemonte developed an open source map of the transport network in Turin, which uses data from various transport services and online portals to monitor and analyze the accessibility, network performance and intermodal transfer points of the metropolitan area. By including additional indicators, for example on infrastructure for cycling and walking, the map can also be used to measure the overall impact of Turin’s sustainable urban mobility plan.

HaCon, a German company renowned for its travel information services, presented the architecture it developed within the framework of Opticities to create multimodal urban navigators for Grand Lyon and Gothenburg. Both apps are based on a common interface and standardized open data sources, allowing for multiple language use and the creation of new modular functionalities and city-specific adaptations.

The live demonstrations took place at CRTM’s public transport management center, which provides real-time information to more than 40 public transport operators in the whole region, customers and emergency services, on the performance of the network. The open architecture of the ITS system also enables the processing of data from other sources, such as public bicycle and air quality monitoring stations. One of its key functionalities is to automatically generate alerts in case of delays and incidents. These alerts are checked and analyzed, run through a decision and orchestration engine, and fed into an information distribution module, which simultaneously notifies the operators and customers through a variety of online communication channels and electronic message boards.

The various project partners are currently producing detailed deployment guidelines for each of the ITS applications developed during the Opticities program, which will be published by the end of October.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).