Traffic analysis is a vital component of urban planning and mobility management. It helps to understand the patterns, flows, and bottlenecks of traffic in a given area and to design solutions accordingly. However, traditional methods of traffic analysis, such as drones or measurement infrastructure, have limitations in terms of cost, complexity, and accuracy. In this blog post, we will explore how a Belgian technology company, xyzt.ai, challenged the use of drone-based traffic analysis and proposed an alternative solution using floating vehicle data.
The Problem: Tiensepoort Transformation
Tiensepoort is a busy intersection in Leuven, Belgium, that connects the city center with the ring road and the highway. In 2023, the intersection underwent a significant transformation, which aimed to improve the safety and comfort of cyclists and pedestrians, as well as to reduce the environmental impact of traffic. However, the transformation also resulted in considerable public frustration and traffic challenges, as the new layout increased the travel time and congestion for drivers1.
The Solution: Floating Vehicle Data
To address the traffic issues at Tiensepoort, xyzt.ai, a company that specializes in geospatial data visualization and analysis, questioned the use of drone-based traffic analysis and proposed an alternative solution using floating vehicle data. Floating vehicle data (FVD) is data collected from connected vehicles, such as cars, trucks, buses, or taxis, that transmit their location, speed, and direction. FVD provides a rich and dynamic source of information about the movement and behavior of traffic in a given area.
xyzt.ai partnered with INRIX, a global leader in transportation data and analytics, to access and analyze FVD from Tiensepoort. Using xyzt.ai’s web-based platform, they could quickly and easily visualize and explore the FVD without the need for any coding or installation. They could filter the data by time, date, vehicle type, and origin-destination, and to generate various metrics, such as travel time, speed, and delay.
The Results: Fast and Insightful Analysis
Using FVD, xyzt.ai and INRIX could conduct a fast and insightful analysis of the traffic situation at Tiensepoort. The most critical traffic challenges happen during lunch breaks when the traffic volume is high and speed is low. They could also identify the most problematic routes and directions, and to compare the travel time before and after the transformation. They could share their findings with the city authorities and the public, and to provide recommendations for improving the traffic flow and reducing the congestion.
The Benefits: Efficient, Simple, Inexpensive, and Quick
The use of FVD for traffic analysis has several benefits over the use of drones or measurement infrastructure. The efficiency of FVD is superior because it covers a larger area and provides higher data resolution. It is also simpler, as it does not require any physical installation or maintenance of devices. There are no hardware or operational expenses, making it more affordable. It is also quicker, as it provides real-time and historical data, and does not require any data processing or calibration.
The case of Tiensepoort demonstrates the power of FVD for traffic analysis. By using FVD, xyzt.ai and INRIX could challenge the use of drone-based traffic analysis and to provide a better solution for understanding and solving the traffic issues at Tiensepoort. FVD is a valuable tool for urban planners and mobility managers, as it enables them to conduct fast and insightful traffic analysis, and to design data-driven solutions for improving the traffic flow and the quality of life in cities.