The ASFiNAG is the operator of the whole autobahn and motorway network in Austria. It runs a dense network of automatic classifiers. These are evaluated periodically for traffic monitoring and other statistical issues. Currently the data from 240 counting sites is transmitted, checked concerning plausibility and error values are replaced by estimated values. All these tasks are carried out to a very ambitious and tight time schedule.
DTV-Verkehrsconsult has been responsible for evaluating this counting network since 2004. Every month it is exciting to observe, which anomalies occur on the road network and how disruptions, road works or other incidents influence traffic!
Due to the great effort of manual counts, the road traffic census on less important roads has often been cut down to the minimum necessary information. Since this road network represents a large percentage of the roads in Germany the knowledge of its traffic volume is essential for the estimation of the general traffic parameters. Finding a reliable and cost-efficient alternative to manual counts was the main aim of the development of a new counting concept, which has become well-known as Traffic Monitoring. In cooperation with the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg mobile automatic counting systems were specified, that are able to conduct high-precision continuous counts for up to 14 days.
The challenge of developing a simple and reliable operation of the counting systems on site with nearly automatic data processing was successfully solved by our company.
Road traffic census
The German nationwide road traffic census is carried out in a cycle of five years on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Transport It is supposed to deliver valid traffic data from about 30.000 counting sites on motorways, federal highways, state roads as well as on country roads. The main part of the survey consists of manual counts during defined hours and days. A main focus of the data evaluation is on the verification of the counting results concerning completeness and plausibility. A special importance lies on the quality assurance, because the final results are used to calculate the rates of change of the general traffic development.
The gathering of the nationwide data for the road traffic census requires a great organisational effort. That is why it is especially important to provide valid results. This is a permanent challenge for all of the parties involved.
Vehicle Restraint systems
Vehicles accidentally leaving the road should be protected against hitting obstacles next to the road resulting in as little damage as possible. It is just as important to prevent vehicles on two-lane roads from entering the opposing traffic. Vehicle restraint systems made of steel or concrete are used for this purpose. These require a type approval issued by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt). In order to obtain type approval, extensive information and certificates must be provided. As DTV-Verkehrsconsult was involved in several projects focused on vehicle restraint systems, we were commissioned by the BASt to assist them with the processing of the these documents.
Special attention is nowadays given to the development of transition structures between the different systems – still an exciting task!
Road Safety Screening
Improving road safety is an increasingly difficult goal, as the standards in Germany are already very high. Therefore, new approaches are needed to effectively identify the less obvious problem areas in the road network and to provide the basis for the accident commissions to take appropriate measures to prevent accidents. The systematic combination of all available data on road parameters, traffic properties and accident data is an important step in this direction, as the work of the accident commissions is supported.
The professional processing and evaluation of the database is carried out in so-called special analysis. With every new special analysis a continuous further development of the data platform is achieved. Special accident situations are analysed in detail and examined nationwide. The results allow a target-orientated dealing with the conspicuous accident spots and areas. The continuous improvement of safety screening is an important contribution to increasing road safety!
New roads or altered traffic routing result in new distributions of road traffic. In order to determine the magnitude of the effects of such measures already in the planning state, traffic investigations are carried out. DTV-Verkehrsconsult carried out such investigations for a wide range of questions, both in local and small-scale areas, as well as in large-scale areas for federal road networks. An example is here a new road planning in the area of Bielefeld which is in connection with the new construction of the A 33. DTV-Verkehrsconsult was responsible for the traffic analysis, prognosis and variance calculation. Of course, the representation of the expert opinions in public bodies or in the context of the discussions on the plan approval procedure is one of our services.
And if the measures are to be deplored, we also support our clients in court – right up to the Federal Administrative Court!
One of the first projects commissioned to DTV-Verkehrsconsult was a research and development project for the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt). In general, several such research projects are worked on at the same time. According to the EU definition, based on the share of projects we do we are a research company. The focus is quite often on practical areas. One example for this is the ” Pretest for the Documentation of Foreign Motor Vehicle Traffic Using Automatic Recording Systems”. For this purpose, the performance and quality of automatic detection systems were compared both theoretically and in extensive practice tests.
Because video-based systems have to meet high data protection requirements, the inclusion of these aspects has been an integral part of the work. In intensive coordination with the Federal Data Protection Supervisor, the boundary conditions for the use of camera systems with license plate recognition could be determined.
Researching new approaches, exploring new solutions are challenges that we are happy to face!
Traffic surveys of various kinds are carried out by road administrations and consultancies on a project-specific basis or within the framework of supraregional counting campaigns. The storage and processing of this data is usually carried out in different systems. A map-based approach for storing the data or to include information about the location, type, scope and outcome of the surveys is a great benefit for the administrations.
We have provided web-based maps in a wide range of tasks. For this purpose, the project-specific requirements were defined as a variation of our basic system, the “Web-based Traffic Data Management” (WDM). One of the more complex systems we have designed and implemented so far – consisting of different user rights and the integration of various survey types – is a project for the state administration in Schleswig-Holstein. The newly developed system increases the availability of all surveys throughout the road construction management and saves both time spent on research and data transmission as well as costly new surveys due to missing information.
Let us show you your information map-based!
For determining traffic flows, e.g. of transit traffic, it is necessary to have unique identification features of the vehicles. This is possible via the license plate. Surveys where automatic number plate recognition cameras are used can be automatically evaluated using specially designed software. Based on this it is possible to evaluate high traffic flows.
One example of video-based surveys is the long-distance traffic study of Bavaria, which we were subcontracted to conduct by Neurosoft Sp. Z.o.o.o. DTV-Verkehrsconsult was responsible for the concept of the evaluation, the routes and their intermediate points as well as the subsequent analysis of the encrypted number plates. Due to the long recording times of the cameras on the motorways and the number of survey points, a total of over 227,000,000 vehicle datasets were compared. As a result, we had reliable data on the amount of the transit traffic flows within the Bavarian motorway network.
The possibilities of video-based traffic surveys are by no means exhausted. We would be pleased to contribute our experience to your projects!
To pass on knowledge is the goal of training. We carry out training in various topics. They are also a sign of the fact that DTV-Verkehrsconsult develops innovative ideas for practical implementation and enables customers to use them.
A good example are the training courses we gave on the application of the road safety platform in Baden-Württemberg. During these training courses, around 300 people were taught! In a total of 20 one-day appointments we schooled them in theory and, in particular, in the practical use of the web-based platform.
We also have qualified employees for conduction training courses in other areas of our expertise!