OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTED RESULTS
The project's objectives are to:
- review existing micro-simulation models, so that gaps can be
identified. It will build on the APAS report and other reviews such
as the PROGEN (Henry, 1994) report from PROMETHEUS. A State-of-the-Art
review report will be produced.
- investigate how the existing models can best be enhanced to fill the
identified gaps, thus advancing the State-of-the-Art. Prime objectives
of these enhancements will be to ensure that they are transferable
across Europe and that they are based on sound statistical analysis.
- incorporate the findings of the study into a best practice manual for
the use of micro-simulation in modelling road transport and to
disseminate these findings widely throughout Europe.
Expected Economic And Social Impacts
Countries throughout Europe face similar road transport problems of
increasing levels of congestion and environmental degradation, high accident
rates and high energy consumption rates. Tools are required to help managers
of road networks implement measures to reduce these problems. The
development of appropriate tools is time consuming, technically challenging
and requires the collection of lots of data for validation and calibration.
Many such tools already exist, but due to a lack of standardisation it is
often difficult to find a model which satisfies the evaluation requirements
and which is likely to produce realistic results on the chosen implementation
site. By sharing experiences and data sets, tools can be developed which
improve on the State-of-the-Art, use standardised data formats and which are
transferable across Europe. Confidence that the tools have been correctly
validated will also improve. The tools developed in this project will be
able to produce outputs for a complete range of performance indicators,
allowing any European scheme objectives to be evaluated.
The goal of gaining better control of the road transport network has many
benefits. It can lead to better utilisation of the existing network,
avoiding the need for building additional infrastructure. Improved control
measures also lead to reduced journey times and smoother flows, resulting in
reductions in pollution, fuel consumption and noise levels. All control
measures can be investigated using computer models. Therefore computer
models have an important role to play in the planning and everyday operation
of these transport systems. With a clear understanding of this role and
realistic expectations of what results they can produce, models can be an
invaluable tool in the transport policy decision making process.
The APAS reports have identified three key issues that have to be tackled in
any discussion on the use of computer models to solve transport problems:
The failure to realise the limitations of models or to interpret their
results can have negative and potentially expensive consequences. The use
of a model to assess a situation for which it has not been calibrated can
also cast doubts over the results.
- the assumptions that have to be made in the modelling exercise,
- an appreciation of how errors can be generated,
- knowledge of uncertainties that surround the modelling results.
The SMARTEST project will make a significant impact on reducing these
problems. Standards will be developed for the consistent calibration and
validation of micro-simulation models. Ranges of values for key model
parameters for a variety of Europe wide situations will be provided.
Standard procedures for using micro-simulation models will be formulated,
allowing consistent appraisal of schemes across Europe. Improvements will
be made to the models used by micro-simulation packages allowing more
realistic results to be produced. Information on the likely accuracy of the
models will be provided.
The SMARTEST project will thus provide road network managers with an
improved set of tools and procedures to assess the impact of road transport
schemes and interventions. Road network managers supplied with such a set
of tools will be able to make considerable economic savings as they will be
able to accurately assess new schemes without the expense of field
experiments. Such assessments can also demonstrate the usefulness of
improved UTC and information and guidance systems and hence lead to new
How the project will contribute to European competitiveness and standards
The development of an internal European market in micro-simulation tools
will strengthen the competitiveness of the European suppliers in the world
How the project will contribute to the fulfilment of the Common Transport
The project will provide tools which allow improved evaluation of technical
innovations and operational strategies on the road network. This will result
in improved efficiency of operation of the road system improving the chance
of optimisation of the transport networks. Better assessment of safety and
environmental impacts will allow policies to be developed which reduce
accidents and pollution. Better micro-simulation packages will also improve
traffic, transport and information management. This will result in better
knowledge and understanding of mobility, traffic flows, their interactions
APAS (1995) APAS Roads 2: Assessment of Road Transport Models and System
Architectures, European Commission Directorate General for Transport, April
Henry, J.J. (1994) Simulation Work in PROMETHEUS, In: Towards An Intelligent
Transport System. Proceedings of the First World Congress on Applications of
Transport Telematics and Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems, November 30 -
3 December 1994, Paris, Vol 2., pp 917-24.
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