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Smart Anything Everywhere

Cyber-Physical Systems Engineering Labs is part of the Smart Anything Everywhere initiative.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644400.

TEMPO (TMS Experiment with Mobility in the Physical world using Overture)

'The funding provided by the network allowed us to spend time to develop a prototype implementation of our ideas, and to identify new markets ... Furthermore, CPSE Labs provided our staff with training in the Overture technology and helped us during the project actively with the modeling process of the TEMPO demonstrator'

Nico Plat - West Consulting

Problem and solution

Traffic

Many European countries have dense road networks and significant traffic problems. The flow of traffic on Europe’s roads is managed by a series of traffic management systems that are owned and controlled by various local and national authorities. A traffic management system consists of a collection of digital control systems linked to physical devices installed along the roadside. These can be sensors that collect traffic data (such as cameras, radar detection systems, and induction loops) or actuators that are used as control measures by giving instructions to road users through signs and signals. Existing traffic management solutions are run centrally from regional control centres. A low degree of collaboration hinders efficient management of traffic problems that straddle boundaries between authorities, because traffic management systems cannot communicate between regions. Authorities may even have competing goals for traffic flow, such as keeping traffic in their area as low as possible at the expense of neighbouring regions. While cooperation between various road authorities at a governance level has improved recently, technical barriers for collaborative and distributed traffic management systems must be removed.

The TEMPO experiment aimed to tackle the problem of poor collaboration between traffic authorities by providing collaborative, distributed control architectures for traffic management systems that engage with each other in automated negotiation. These negotiations are based on policies, which help to reach agreement on which control measures are beneficial for the system as whole, improving overall network performance. This experiment applied computer modelling to analyse both existing traffic management networks and collaborative and distributed designs, demonstrating the benefits of smart traffic systems.

How did CPSE Labs Help?

The experiment applied used a modelling and simulation platform called Overture to design collaborative control architectures for traffic management systems. The UK design centre brought expertise in modelling with Overture from a range of domains. Aarhus University was the technology provider, bringing development expertise in the Overture platform and extending it to provide new capabilities required for modelling traffic management systems and control architectures. West IT was the end user, bringing expertise in the domain of traffic management and software systems

CPSE Labs brought together the partners and facilitated technology transfer of Overture from Aarhus University to West IT through training, guidance and support. The experiment required all three partners to collaborate closely throughout, who held regular face-to-face meetings and hands-on workshops. CPSE Labs helped West IT reach potential customers by engaging with road network stakeholders from across Europe from the outset and throughout the experiment.

'Small companies such as ours have only limited budget and time to innovate and to bring novel ideas at a stage where they can be convincingly demonstrated to (potential) clients. The funding provided by the network allowed us to spend time to develop a demonstrator that is a prototype implementation of our ideas, and to identify new markets consisting of non traditional players in the field of traffic management, that can benefit from our ideas. Furthermore, CPSE Labs provided our staff with training in the Overture technology and helped us during the project actively with the modelling process of the TEMPO demonstrator. In this way the demonstrator was developed more quickly than otherwise would have been the case. The Overture technology itself helped by making it more easy to model a very complex system, and also to execute that model so that it became easy to visualize how our ideas work in practice.'

Nico Plat - West Consulting

Impact

West IT has increased its competitive capabilities in the smart mobility arena and expects additional work 200k€ in the first year, leading to increased revenue of 1,5M€ over five years. The digital skills learned by West IT employees will benefit the company in current and future projects, both in traffic management and other domains. The results will have significant societal impact if adopted by national, urban and commercial road authorities, greatly improving road network performance and reducing pollution. The results can also be of benefit to organisations such as stadiums, harbours and airports not commonly associated with traffic management, who increasingly take the initiative in guiding large volumes of traffic themselves.

Outputs

TEMPO have produced a demonstrator, a model of machine-assisted negotiations illustrated in a sample network, plotted on a geographical map. The topology of the network can be specified and various kinds of traffic control measures, directed by a TMS, can be defined. These measures include hard shoulders, diversions, ramp metering, dynamic speeds, and lane closures. The TEMPO model communicates with a traffic simulator that provides the model with updates on the traffic situation, and calculates the effect of the traffic control measures that the model produces on the traffic flows.

TEMPO Simulator The demonstrator can be found on the project website, along with a flyer giving more detail. The project also led to a number of publications:
Design centre

This experiment is supported by our UK design centre

UK design centre

Technology platforms

Overture Logo

Partners

West Consulting Logo
AArhus University Logo

Dates

1st Oct 2015 - 1st Oct 2016
Funded under: CPSE Labs Call 1