The relation between the quality of different types and combinations of types of traffic data and the effectiveness of traffic management

Subject

The main objective of this research is establishing requirements for traffic data, related to the specific traffic management measures, the intended (network-wide) goals of the road operator and monitoring costs. Therefore, the main research question of this PhD research is: What is the relation between the quality of different types and combinations of types of traffic data and the effectiveness of traffic management? Secondly, which requirements are needed for traffic data in order to reach the intended traffic management goals? Additional research questions are: Which improvement is possible by combining different data sources and using intelligent data fusion techniques? What is the cost-benefit relation between monitoring costs and the effect of the measure?

Scientific challenges

To define a theoretical framework and approach to determine the added value of the quality of traffic data, by using utility functions.
Furthermore, to show, for a selection of traffic management measures and objectives, how these requirements can be met with different data sources, finding a ‘minimum’ set of data that fulfils the requirements, based on advanced data processing and fusion techniques. The complete chain of data collection, data completion, data fusion, prediction and/or simulation will be taken into account in an integrated approach.

Societal relevance

Different data sources are coming more and more available, such as loop detector data, Floating Car Data (FCD), Blue Tooth, etc. Accurate, reliable, high quality traffic data is a prerequisite for effective traffic management. However, good research to establish requirements for the quality of traffic data in relation to the intended traffic management goals is lacking. If the (minimum) data requirements for traffic management applications can be determined, this will give new possibilities for better traffic management and may lead to cost reduction.
An important development concerning collecting and distribution of traffic data in the Netherlands is the National Data Warehouse for Traffic Information (NDW). The NDW has defined preliminary quality requirements and imposed to traffic data suppliers. These quality requirements are not differentiated for different road types or traffic management applications. Currently, there is discussions about redefining the quality requirements, especially to differentiate them, to which this research may contribute.
Also at the European level it has been identified that there is a lack of common European quality criteria for data and services, which is in turn a basic need for quality cross-border services using data from different countries.

Finally, the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is investigating alternative ways of traffic monitoring to replace and/or to add to the data coming from the inductive loop detectors on the Dutch motorway network, mainly for cost saving. Research is needed to find out if alternative ways of traffic monitoring can offer the same (or better) quality as needed.

Gerdien Klunder

Start/end date: Sep 2011 – Feb 2017
Daily supervisor: Henk Taale
Promotor: Serge Hoogendoorn
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