The project's objectives are to:

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 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 industrial developments.

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 market.

How the project will contribute to the fulfilment of the Common Transport Policy

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 and interdependencies.


APAS (1995) APAS Roads 2: Assessment of Road Transport Models and System Architectures, European Commission Directorate General for Transport, April 1995.

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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