City of Cologne Completes Smarter Traffic Pilot with IBM

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:12am EST

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German city uses predictive analytics to anticipate and avoid traffic jams
before they occur
COLOGNE, Germany, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The  City of Cologne, Germany,
and IBM (NYSE:  IBM) today announced the completion of a smarter traffic pilot
to predict and manage traffic flow and road congestion in the city. The pilot
demonstrates how the city of  Cologne  can anticipate, better manage, and in
many cases, avoid traffic jams and trouble spots across the city using analytics
technology.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO) 

The city's traffic engineers and IBM were able to predict traffic volume and
flow with over 90 percent accuracy up to 30 minutes in advance. As a result,
travelers would be able to better plan ahead and determine whether they should
leave at a different time, plan an alternate route or use a different mode of
transportation.  

"The traffic prediction pilot results are very encouraging," said  Thomas Weil,
Director of the Cologne Traffic Control Center. "Having the ability to create
actionable insight from the traffic monitoring data gives us an ability to
better manage congestion as well as provide citizens with more precise traffic
information. Our Traffic Command Center would be able to optimize current
traffic flow while anticipating and planning for potential traffic incidents."

Cologne, Germany's fourth largest city with a population of just over one
million, is a retail center, hub for trade shows and a cultural center with many
museums and galleries. The increase in traffic density and congestion has
incentivized the  City of Cologne  to seek out new ways to better manage and
optimize traffic flow and increase the capacity of its transportation networks
within the constraints of its infrastructure.  

The traffic command center collects real-time data from more than 150 monitoring
stations and 20 traffic cameras on the roads, highways and at intersections that
are known to be traffic hot spots. However, the command center currently does
not have advanced traffic management tools or a way to forecast what traffic
will be like in the near future. The advanced transportation management software
could help traffic officials identify imminent road congestion and help them
plan and respond ahead of time.

"As one of the first congestion-prone large cities to do so,  Cologne  has taken
an important step in the right direction with this project," said  Eric-Mark
Huitema, IBM Smarter Transportation leader,  Europe. "Intelligent traffic
management based on precise forecasting techniques can help cities anticipate
and avoid traffic congestion and possibly reduce the volume of traffic,
resulting in a more sustainable transportation network."  

IBM transportation experts and researchers worked with the  City of Cologne  to
analyze data from its traffic monitoring stations along the on the left bank of
the Rhine for a period of six weeks with the aid of the IBM Traffic Prediction
Tool and IBM Intelligent Transportation solutions. The detailed results, which
compare the accuracy of the traffic prediction tool to the real-time data,
revealed the accuracy of short-term forecasting for 30 minutes ahead to be 94
percent for vehicle speed and 87 percent for the volume of traffic.  

The Traffic Prediction Tool invented by IBM Research is a component of the IBM's
Intelligent Operation Center software, which draws on experience gained from
Smarter Cities projects with cities around the world.

For more information on IBM Smarter Transportation, visit 
http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/transportation  and follow @IBMTransport.

Sara Delekta Galligan
IBM Media Relations
+1-415-545-6715
sdelekta@us.ibm.com

Annette Fassnacht
IBM Media Relations -  Germany
+49-0160-90105052   
annettefassnacht@de.ibm.com

SOURCE  IBM

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