York becomes UK’s first city with real-time transport model

Dave Atkinson, Head of Programmes and Smart Place at City of York council, said:

We’re delighted to be the first city in the UK to introduce this innovative and cutting-edge technology to improve journeys and reduce pollution in York. 

“At this early stage it’s already proving to be a success. We’re able to predict future traffic levels based on our live traffic behaviour and manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.”

PTV UK Technical Director Michael Oliver said:

Working with City of York Council and the other project partners has been a privilege. I have seen for myself how the conflation of transport planning, traffic engineering and real-time data can deliver an impressive traffic management solution”.

The York Optima real-time model is a rolling live prediction of traffic conditions across the city. It combines offline dynamic transport models with live traffic data to provide the council’s control room with a network-wide forecast of current and forecast congestion.

The model is integrated with over 100 live traffic flow sensors, 100+ live signal controllers, live speed data across the network provided by TomTom, and up-to-date information about roadworks and other network changes.

The live model combines all this data into a single view so that the control room can then use this information to see in detail what is happening across the whole network, and not only in those locations with sensors or CCTV. Optima also allows the control room to test alternative scenarios for the next hour ahead, next day, or weeks in the future.

The city therefore has an operational road modelling asset for monitoring current conditions, planning for the near future, observing how plans play out, and using this knowledge to improve future strategies.

The new technology also ties into the council’s Traffic Signal Asset Renewal Programme – introducing new, more reliable, traffic signals across the city.

More information about the real-time transport model can be found by visiting the City of York council website.

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