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Traffic management and road maintenance services

Motorway digital test field (6518006)
The Federal Highway Research Institute - BASt - is supporting the implementation of the motorway digital test field (DTA) on the motorway BAB 9 between Nuremberg and Munich particularly in the area of intelligent infrastructure. This includes intensive, comprehensive and continuous support of the different measures on the DTA. Different aspects regarding the support of automated driving through infrastructure measures are also under discussion in working groups and implemented on the DTA as required. Different measures were and are investigated on the DTA, such as iRoute2, roadworks warner, roadside emergency telephones, innovative truck parking guidance system, intelligent bridge, intelligent road ice forecast, intelligent wrong-way driver warning, internet parking space, motorway petrol and service station of the future, intelligent zipper system, safe flagging down of vehicles for stationary inspections, strategic routing.

DEU-FRA-LUX test field (6518007)
The original Franco-German test field was extended on 14 September 2017 to include a road section in Luxembourg as part of the 2nd Level European Dialogue on Automated Driving. The trilateral test field takes the route: Merzig (D) – Saarlouis (D) – Saarbrücken (D) – Metz (F) – Region Bettemburg (Lux) and includes the different road categories of motorways, country roads, urban traffic. The Federal Highway Research Institute - BASt - is involved in setting up the test field. The aims are to provide an open technology offer to industry and research, and test innovative technologies across borders. A joint exchange of experience is to be established for cross-border projects to test automated and networked driving functions. The potential and effects of specific applications of automated and networked driving are to be evaluated and the findings made available to international committees. The following focal test areas have been defined for the test field: continuous compatibility of automated driving, networking of automated driving functions with networked driving including the connection to intelligent transport systems (ITS), impacts and effects of automated and networked driving, challenges associated with the generation, processing, storage, forwarding and use of data for automated and networked driving.

EU ITS Platform (EU EIP) (6517006)
The introduction of Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) is an important political objective of the European Union now and in the future. As is known, ITS technologies make their contribution to sustainable mobility in terms of improving traffic safety, enhancing efficiency, reducing environmental burden and other positive effects. However, cross-country ITS services cannot be created consistently as a result of different technical standards on a purely national level, which is not conducive to a coherent European transport network. The EU EIP study brings together a total of 26 public and private stakeholders from 14 member states who are jointly working on a harmonised implementation of ITS services.

Traffic flow at junctions with traffic lights and high cycle traffic volume (70.925)
Cycle traffic is an important part of the overall traffic concept and traffic lights are an indispensable part of controlling the traffic flow at level junctions. Depending on the routing and volume of cycle traffic, the capacity and traffic quality of all modes of transport may be influenced differently at junctions with traffic lights. The traffic quality is assessed using the method in the HBS 2015 (Manual for the Design of Road Traffic Installations). The waiting time serves as a quality criterion, which is not, however, defined uniformly for motorised vehicles and cycle traffic. What is more, not all cases of cycle traffic routing are contained in the calculation method and the existing method is not designed for high cycle traffic volume. Accordingly, a calculation method is necessary for different cycle traffic routes and traffic signal systems using which both the capacity of traffic-light-controlled junctions with high cycle traffic volumes can be computed as well as assessing the traffic quality. As a result, corresponding practicable calculation methods are to be provided. The limits to the use of different forms of routing and signalling are also to be determined and demonstrated.

Practical recommendations for the planning and organisation of temporary road works on federal motorways (03.520)
The majority of temporary road works are attributable to regular work which must be done on the roads. Today, a total of around 100,000 temporary roads works are to be assumed per year. To reduce the resultant negative impacts on traffic flow and safety, and to minimise the economic losses due to congestion, traffic disruptions and accidents, the planning, organisation and conducting of temporary road works is to be more efficient and optimised in future. Based on the contents of the guidelines on the management of road works on federal motorways, a user-oriented manual for road operations with best practice applications is to be prepared as a central outcome of the research project. For this purpose, existing instructions and experience in the federal states as well as existing research findings are to be gathered, assessed and recommendations for nationwide requirements drawn up.

Studies on FS50 technology (6516010)
The spreading of pre-wetted salt FS 30 (30 percent brine) has been an established feature in winter road maintenance for years. However, as the spreading of salt becomes increasingly necessary in normal preventive operations, this technology has the disadvantage that a relatively large amount of salt is lost before taking effect because it is either blown or hurled away. The liquid solution “FS 100”, which has recently been developed to maturity, adheres to the road surface substantially better, achieving a much improved effect with considerably smaller quantities. However, it requires special spreading machines and therefore sizeable investments which are not possible across the board at short notice. What is more, it cannot be used at very low temperatures and with larger volumes of ice and snow. Tests have been conducted in Austria in which pre-wetted salt with an increased brine percentage was spread as a preventive measure (FS 50 und FS 70). They indicate that this could be a compromise or transitional solution because the salt can be spread using modern spreaders which do not require retrofitting. The use of FS 50 can also permanently supplement the range of use of pre-wetted salt spreading. The method of differentiated pre-wetted salt spreading (pre-wetted salt which is moistened differently depending on use scenario and weather situation) is to be tested in practice and assessed for efficacy and economic efficiency in the project. Recommendations on use are to be given based on the findings.

Trunk damage to young roadside trees (02.394)
For some 15 years, cracked trunks with extensive damage to the trunk and underlying cambium area have been increasingly identified, especially on the south and south-western side. The causes of the damage have not yet been definitively clarified. Assumptions such as sunburn necrosis, lack of water, fungi, frost damage or other unfavourable climatic conditions at the site have been established during selective investigations in Northrhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt, and are to be verified. Measures for preventing and limiting damage will be derived from this, and can then be incorporated into the existing rules and standards for selecting the species of assessed genera, for planting and for suitable care measures for road use. In addition to selecting varieties when planting new trees, this primarily concerns the location, the planting and the maintenance pruning and trunk protection measures. This is intended to maintain and guarantee the function of roadside tree planting as a design element when embedding roads into the landscape.

Forecasting ice on specific road sections (04.279)
The accurate prediction of winter ice on individual road sections in a particular network is an important factor in conducting an efficient road gritting service in winter. The current road condition and weather information service (SWIS) provides only average forecasts for regions or precise point forecasts for existing ice warning system locations. They do not always give sufficient detail for the often very different network topographies and different road environments resulting from buildings and vegetation within a forecast region to permit effective gritting services to be conducted. This frequently causes cost-intensive inspection trips and excessive gritting operations. The research project will describe, assess and further develop today’s known methods of forecasting ice on road sections. The objective is to elaborate foundations and develop a method that permits a precise forecast of ice to be made for specific road sections. It should consider and cover all types of ice so as to facilitate more efficient gritting operations and an improved road gritting service in winter.

Enhancing traffic safety for weaker road users on pavements and cycle paths in critical weather conditions (89.308)
Winter ice leads time and again to accidents with pedestrians and cyclists. Nevertheless, the statutory requirements concerning traffic safety duties and the associated requirements for gritting in winter also apply to pavements and cycle paths. Non-motorised traffic is to be selectively promoted to strengthen environmentally compatible mobility. However, weaker road users such as pedestrians and cyclists are exposed to special dangers in traffic, particularly in critical weather situations such as snow and ice. Poorly cleared and gritted pavements and cycle paths in the winter months restrict their movement and represent an increased accident and injury risk. The aim is to develop effective recommended actions for which different methods are to be examined and compared in terms of efficacy, costs and environmental compatibility. The outcome is expected to be a gritting service in winter in line with the requirements, keeping costs and environmental impairments as low as possible whilst adequately satisfying traffic safety duties.

Information on the Provision of Lorry Parking (6514014)
According to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Transport in April 2013, there is a shortage of some 11,000 parking spaces for lorries on German motorways. In addition to the construction of new parking spaces, the Ministry is also calling for the implementation of telematics systems to improve and increase the utilisation of existing capacity at motorway service areas. This project aims to develop a road control system which can spread the demand for lorry parking spaces across service areas along a given stretch of motorway. In doing so, both infrastructure and vehicle-based input data will be considered.

A Comparison of Detectors for Monitoring Traffic Flows at Signaled Junctions (03.513)
It is the task of a detector to gather reliable information on traffic flows. These data are often used for the traffic-adaptive control of traffic lights on very busy roads on the local and regional road network. However, the data are also being increasingly used for other additional purposes. For example, the data are used in modern traffic management systems to identify the traffic conditions. The selection of appropriate and reliable detectors forms the basis of all traffic management measures. However, their characteristics and potential applications are yet to be comprehensively researched. The necessary knowledge base in the field of detection regarding the suitability of certain procedures for particular applications is not universally available. This project aims to compile operational criteria for the various types of detector.

New sensor constructions for ice-warning systems in operation (6514016)
A series of new sensors for ice-warning systems have arrived on the market in recent years. The aims of the manufacturers are the improvement of measurement quality, the increasing of the scope of measurement and simplification for the purposes of reducing costs. Tests of various sensors conducted by the BASt, however, have resulted in new questions in relation to the operation of these sensors. Tests carried out in laboratory conditions have revealed that the sensors tested only achieved results lying in the specification range under extremely narrowly defined conditions. These conditions do not exist on roads. For example, sensors designed to measure precipitation detect no rainfall at all in the event of only low levels of precipitation, although road surfaces become extremely wet. Here the requirements relating to the measuring sensitivity laid down in the existing European standard are inadequate. Nowadays though, non-contact sensors for the measurement of road surface parameters are becoming increasingly available on the market. In contrast to the sensors integrated into the road surface, these offer the benefit of being able to observe the actual road surfaces. Their measuring surfaces are significantly larger than that provided by integrated sensors. It is planned to examine the measuring behaviour of the individual sensors in the course of laboratory and field trials. For this purpose, it is necessary to define precise requirements. In addition, meaningful testing methods must also be developed. It is intended that the results of these investigations are incorporated into an information paper planned by the Road and Transportation Research Association (FGSV) for the planning, construction and operation as well as in European standards for road condition and weather information systems to be revised. With precise knowledge of the actual quality of the new sensors, it is intended to create a higher level of confidence in the use of sensor measurements and thus a further improvement of the control of winter road maintenance in the future.

Practical testing of the control procedure of telematically supported compact parking (6512004)
According to data collected on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and urban Development, there was a requirement for around 14,000 additional truck parking spaces on federal motorways in 2008. In addition to expanding the motorway service areas, telematic systems are also to be used in order to enable the degree of occupancy to be automatically detected and the capacity of the service stations increased. A new control procedure has been developed: “compact parking“ which is geared towards an increase in capacities on existing service stations. Numerous trucks should park direct behind and next to each other in a compact form, thereby enabling the existing service station area to be utilised to the best possible extent due to their no longer being a necessity for aisles. Dynamic displays positioned above the parking space rows provide the drivers with information concerning the latest time of departure of the vehicles which are parked in this row. Arriving drivers are to park in the row which displays his planned time of departure, so that the vehicle drivers cannot get in each others way when departing. The challenge facing this new control approach is the making of the decision as to when a suitable time of departure is to be replaced and if so, with which time of departure it is to be carried out. The aim of the project is to develop the control approach further and then test it by means of a simulation and thereby determine the efficiency. The practical implementation of compact parking at a service station will then be accompanied by BASt in the scope of this project.

Analysing the impacts of climate change on the technical services - Part 1: Analysing the impacts (04.251)
Climate changes are being forecast on a global scale. When compared to now, extreme weather developments such as longer drying times, more intensive precipitation or more snow are expected in Central Europe. This will have a general impact on road traffic which will especially have a negative effect on the technical road services. The aim of the project is a more accurate determination of the effects on the technical road services on the basis of existing climate scenarios. Reference is hereby made to all of the performances as stated in the specifications. Road traffic itself makes a considerable contribution to the climate change. Stop and go traffic or traffic jams result in an increase in pollutant levels. The degree to which pollutant emissions can be reduced by expanding the technical services is hereby unknown. Possible reductions to pollutant emissions as a result of expanded technical services can therefore be determined on the basis of how this impedes traffic.

Definition of assessment criteria for the online analysing of traffic light systems (03.481)
In accordance with the Manual for the Assessing of Road Traffic Facilities (HBS), the assessing of the quality of traffic light systems is fundamentally based on the traffic flow criteria. The data basis is mainly traffic data or planning traffic densities which are mainly collected offline. Modern traffic computer technology also provides the opportunity of being able to carry out assessments online. This data is in connection with the traffic flow and the operational safety, in addition to them frequently already being integrated on the traffic computer. The aim of the project is the collation of the used procedures, discover additional potential for development and the development of quantitative criteria for the assessment.

Modernising axle load monitoring (6508009)
The weights and the axle loads of heavy vehicles are used to determine the actual load on motorways due to heavy traffic. Highways are equipped with a network of measuring points for axle load to determine the actual axle loads. These data are required for economic dimensioning of roads and bridge constructions, to estimate the remaining service life of the existing infrastructure, legal regulations and monitoring the permitted vehicle weights. The network for monitoring axle loads on motorways is built on a step-by-step basis. BASt is supporting and coordinating this development from a technical point of view.

New method for evaluating de-icing salt patterns (6508001)
Correct application of de-icing salts is an important requirement for safety and functionality of roads under winter conditions. The spreading machines use humid salt technology to achieve better distribution. Mixing de-icing salt solutions immediately before the distribution with the dry de-icing salts used leads to a better distribution of the de-icing salts as less material is blown off by the wind. Currently, there is no established test method for measuring the distribution de-icing agents based on humid-salt technology that would facilitate separate evaluation of the distribution of the de-icing salts and the solution. This method is to be evaluated for practical feasibility and appropriate test specifications are to be developed.

Realization of the third extension stage for axle load registration on motorways (6507006)
Axle load measurement points register the total weight and axle load of heavy vehicles on motorways for statistical purposes. These data are needed for more economical dimensioning of roads and bridges, estimates of existent infrastructure's remaining life cycles, definition of legal regulations and monitoring of permissible vehicle weights. An axle load registration network is being established successively on motorways. The Federal Highway Research Institute technically supervises and coordinates the process of establishment. In the third stage of extending the network, measurement stations are to be set up on eleven motorway sections in five states. This network extension will also permit a registration of axle loads in the northern sector of the motorway network. This will enhance the accuracy and validity of the registered axle loads. In agreement with the Federal Office for Goods Transport, some measurement points are to be used additionally for preselecting overloaded heavy transporters.