Motionlogic and PTV partnership incorporates floating phone data into traffic models


Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Motionlogic and transportation software developer PTV Group have entered into a strategic partnership in order to provide new high-quality data, analytics, and visualization systems for planning and optimizing traffic flows.

The two companies are combining their competencies: Motionlogic provides the data from traffic and movement streams, which is based on anonymized signal data from the cell phone network, and PTV’s traffic experts process the movement streams further with their traffic planning and modeling software. The combined system allows urban transport planners and operators to calibrate future transport models, as well as analyze the current traffic situation and map travel demand in real time. There are several benefits for cities and communities if they can visualize the actual interdependence between their traffic zones. This can now be performed through the integration of Motionlogic’s movement data into PTV’s suite of software planning tools. Various scenarios for private and public transport can be planned with an eye to the future, whether it is by using PTV’s Visum software for macroscopic traffic modeling, Vissim for microscopic traffic simulation, or real-time traffic management with the company’s Optima software.

For transport planners, origin-destination relations play an important role. There has not previously been a suitable measurement variable for determining selected destinations for inclusion in the modeling process. Traffic surveys are time-consuming and expensive, and do not always produce statistically meaningful results. Here, floating phone data (FPD), used in addition to floating car data (FCD) from in-vehicle devices, provides a much better basis for planning and analysis. Motionlogic makes weekday-specific origin-destination matrices available for this process, and PTV’s software technology can visualize the individual traffic zones and transform the data into clear figures and planning scenarios. There are also hourly departure and arrival figures available, so by using these zone-by-zone traffic patterns, demand can be depicted not just as a day matrix, but in a much more granular fashion.

For transit operators, the depiction of travel demand in public transport is of special interest. It allows the actual demand behavior patterns to be detected, which can then be used to orient new concepts and provide customer-appropriate capacities. Normally it is only possible to make ‘qualified guesses’ as to where people are going, but with the integration of this empirical data, it is now possible to know much more precisely what percentage of road users are going from zone A to zone B, and at what point in time.

All transport planners for whom travel demand is an important input variable can now profit from the Motionlogic-PTV partnership, as they can now assess reliable origin-destination matrices, calibrate the destination selection model, or validate entire transport models. The integration has been tested successfully during a pilot project to develop a new transport model for PTV’s home city of Karlsruhe. In the next phase, the two companies will work together to output travel demand for the modes of transport separately.

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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).