Salzburg Research: Traffic jam reports from the Open Telekom Cloud
Traffic jam reports from the cloud: Salzburg Research uses traffic data from road users to calculate the current traffic situation. The research institute gets the data from fleets, sensors along the roads and the StauFux app, which motorists use to provide their traffic data. The technical basis: the Open Telekom Cloud.
The residents of Salzburg commute 17 million kilometers each working day, according to a new study by the Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ). Almost two out of three of them drive to work – which equates to 232,000 car journeys every working day. In addition, there’s tourist traffic and public transport such as buses and taxis. No wonder Salzburg is not far behind Vienna when it comes to being Austria’s capital of traffic jams. Drivers in Salzburg spend an average of 30 hours a year in traffic jams – in Vienna it’s 40 hours, according to the latest Global Traffic Scorecard by the US traffic data specialist INRIX.
Traffic situation from Open Telekom Cloud
Salzburg Research, the province of Salzburg’s independent research institute, was commissioned by the province to find a solution, with funding from the country’s Climate and Energy Fund. The goal: to analyze the traffic situation, predict traffic jams and better plan construction measures. The result: a platform based on the Open Telekom Cloud that maps the traffic situation in Salzburg and Tyrol down to the minute.
Unlike other platforms, such as Google Maps, which just show traffic disruptions, the StauFux information can be processed further. Therefore, traffic officials can use Salzburg Research’s anonymized traffic information by evaluating it and better addressing the issues surrounding traffic planning. For example, to find out at which junctions roundabouts make more sense than traffic lights. And drivers also benefit – they can look at the app before embarking on their journey to see which streets are clogged and so better plan their route.
To gather enough information and present the real-time traffic situation even more precisely, the researchers use, for example, anonymized GPS data from fleet vehicles. To do this, Salzburg Research works with fleet operators, using their telematics systems that record not only fuel consumption or journey time, but also the position of the vehicles in real time. The resulting traffic data is hugely valuable in helping to create a picture of the traffic situation.
However, it’s not just the fleets that generate valuable traffic information: sensors along the streets also measure the traffic flows. And by using the StauFux app, developed by Salzburg Research, which runs in Telekom's cloud
solution, car drivers also contribute to better traffic jam detection. With the app, motorists can provide their driving data to the research institute anonymously.
Flexible IT resources from Telekom’s cloud
The research institute needs a secure cloud solution for this. Salzburg Research chose the Open Telekom Cloud – and not just because of its high level of flexibility. “We wanted a European cloud solution because the fleet customers in particular have a high requirement for data security and data protection,” says Karl Rehrl, head of mobile and web-based information systems at Salzburg Research. “The processing in Telekom’s high-security data centers is the compelling argument for our users. In addition, full compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
is a contractual condition.”
In addition, Rehrl wanted to have the flexibility to be able to add new IT resources. “We are always looking for new fleet operators who would like to cooperate with us. If a vehicle fleet is added, we spontaneously need a lot more IT resources to be able to process the data.” Currently, at peak times, up to 5,000 fleet vehicles send information into the cloud every working day. That’s the equivalent of 25 million GPS data points or 1.3 million kilometers on the recorded traffic routes, which is processed and stored each day in the Open Telekom Cloud. The historical traffic data also provides important information for optimal traffic planning.
“With the solution in the Open Telekom Cloud
we don’t need our own hardware anymore,” Rehrl says. “In addition, the solution is fail-safe, and if we want to test new software releases, we only pay for the test environment after use.” In the future, Rehrl wants to augment the platform with a forecast function. “Then users will not only see the current traffic situation but also where traffic jams are likely to develop within the next few hours.”