Federal Highway Research Institute

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Traffic management and road maintenance services

Evaluation of studies on the effectiveness of traffic control systems (03.0566)
In Germany, collective traffic management systems are in use to increase traffic safety and improve traffic flow on federal motorways. The prerequisite in each case is the economic efficiency of these systems. In the research project, the effects of variable speed limit (VSL) and local ramp metering (RM) on traffic safety and traffic flow, but also with regard to environmental effects, is analyses on the basis of already available investigations (meta-analysis). This should provide an up-to-date basis for better estimating the effectiveness of planned new and replacement investments.

Evidence of the effects of a 30 km/h speed limit on traffic light control and capacity (77.0523)
In the political and public debate on improving environmental conditions - and in particular air quality - in cities, the introduction of 30 km/h speed limits in varying degrees is examined. The scenarios discussed range from an extension of the current regulation practice to larger parts of the urban road network to a comprehensive speed limit of 30 km/h on the entire urban road network. In some cases, a 40 km/h speed limit may be imposed in combination with other measures to promote or restrict individual modes of transport. The aim of the project is to determine the effects of an extended speed limit of 30 km/h and, in addition, of 40 km/h in urban areas with regard to the quality of traffic flow (and in particular in connection with traffic light control at junctions), traffic safety and air quality, as well as to compare and evaluate them with the current situation and derive recommendations.

New Media Training Summer Service (03.0618)
The road maintenance service - especially the summer service - serves to maintain road safety and capacity on the roads. The proper decision to carry out summer road maintenance requires extensive technical knowledge. Many activities can now be supported by technical aids, the use of which requires extensive understanding. To improve expertise, all persons involved in summer maintenance must be trained accordingly. Existing regulations and manuals require extensive study. There is a lack of easily understandable documents that can be used for training but also for memorable self-study. The aim is to develop appropriate training concepts for the various persons working in the responsible master workshops to increase the level of knowledge on the basis of modern media and learning methods.

Determination of principles and evaluation methods of a life cycle assessment of winter road maintenance (03.0617)
A considerable amount of effort is expended on winter road maintenance. Up to now, the evaluation of different methods and techniques has been carried out mainly from the point of view of road safety and economic efficiency. So far, there is hardly any basis for the evaluation of the overall ecological effects in the sense of a life cycle assessment. As a result of the present project, significant parameters are to be compiled and methods for the simple estimation of the life cycle assessment of winter road maintenance for individual operations, entire districts or road networks are to be developed. International standards for life cycle assessment are to be taken into account. A method to be developed should be directly applicable for planning, disposition and investment decisions in the context of winter road maintenance.

Use of new media for winter road maintenance training (03.0598)
Winter road maintenance serves to maintain road safety and capacity on roads in winter conditions. Clearing snow and spreading de-icing salt are the main tasks. Many preparatory tasks and also the corresponding documentation of the winter service are equally important tasks. Today, the proper decision to carry out winter maintenance requires extensive knowledge of the interrelationships between weather, road conditions and the necessary measures. For the various winter situations, different technologies are possible for combating icy roads, the effects of which and thus their application must be known. Today, many decisions can be supported by technical aids, but their use requires extensive understanding. The aim of this research project is to create easy-to-understand training products based on modern media for the various people involved in winter road maintenance in a responsible master workshop in order to increase their level of knowledge. All winter maintenance tasks, including the procurement of equipment, are to be taken into account.

Sustainable planning and design of master yards (03.0609)
A large share of the investment and modernisation costs in the road operation service is accounted for by the maintenance stations. They must be adapted to the corresponding requirements of climate-appropriate design, but also to new technologies and requirements in the road maintenance service. The aim of the project is to update the guideline for the design of maintenance stations (RAM) in the sense of higher sustainability and effectiveness of the work processes on the maintenance station and the road operation service. Among other things, the following aspects are to be taken into account: new developments in building design/equipment with regard to CO2 reductions for new construction and modernisation, energy supply of vehicles and machines with alternative drives, new technologies or changed requirements in road maintenance.

Automation and digitalisation of traffic control on major roads in small and medium-sized cities (77.0521)
Traffic management in small and medium-sized cities (< 50,000 inhabitants) is often outdated and no longer corresponds to the state of the art. The aim of this research project is to develop recommendations for action and a practical guide for the selection and introduction of traffic management modules in small and medium-sized cities. For this purpose, the different levels of the technical traffic infrastructure, the traffic control planning and the organisational aspects for the integration into the municipal operation are to be considered. In addition, an assessment of the potential of certain traffic control measures with regard to traffic quality as well as the environment and traffic-related emissions is to be carried out. As a special feature, an innovative aspect of dynamic speed control in urban areas will also be investigated. The digitalisation of traffic information should always be kept in mind. The investigations are to be illustrated by examples from a real municipality.

Potential analysis for the use of automatic/autonomous technologies in road operation services on motorways (03.0596)
The road maintenance service has the task of maintaining the performance of the roads and ensuring the safe and smooth flow of traffic. Operational service personnel often find themselves in potentially dangerous and physically and mentally demanding situations. Although considerable efforts are already being made to protect and support staff through various measures, serious accidents still occur time and again, resulting in fatalities among road users and road service staff and often causing considerable damage to property. This makes it clear that there is a need for further development with regard to automated/autonomous technologies and work processes in order to make safety more efficient. Within the framework of this research project, areas are to be identified in the road operation service in which, on the basis of the current state of the art, automated/autonomous technologies can already be used today or in the very near future in order to support the increase in safety and the more efficient fulfilment of services. Concrete use cases are to be derived and clearly defined from these areas.

Harmonisation of traffic flow in the area of SBA - Optimisation and extension of procedures (03.0521)
A harmonious traffic flow is characterised by equal speeds and distances between vehicles. In this way, the capacity of a section of road can be used optimally. One task of section control systems is to work towards this with the help of speed limits. Vehicle distances and speeds can be converted into macroscopic traffic parameters. Macroscopic parameters form the basis for control decisions, i.e. the arrangement of speed restrictions, and the evaluation of the quality of variable speed limits. These variables therefore play an important role in optimising the systems. In practice, the spatially continuous, empirical determination of the traffic density and the route-related, instantaneous average speed along a controlled section is complex and requires the use of models whose accuracy varies depending on the procedure and situation. Based on the state of the art in the collection of empirical traffic situation data, a concept is being developed in this project how the traffic situation on longer sections of roads can be determined quasi-continuously on the basis of data that can be collected exclusively empirically - in particular aerial photographs. In addition to the application of the concept, the aim is to clarify which procedure is appropriate for a more complex quasi-continuous route-related traffic situation reconstruction in the context of impact analysis and optimisation. Optimisation measures for the surveyed section control systems are to be developed.

Weather-dependent traffic programs with non-invasive road weather sensors (6519010)
Traffic control systems are used on federal highways to increase traffic safety and improve traffic flow. In addition to traffic data, current environmental and road conditions form an important basis for the traffic control. Weather-dependent traffic programs for wetness and fog are performed in the automatic mode of the traffic control. The focus on "wetness" is to be further investigated in the context of updating the standardization and testing of non-invasive sensors on the testfield A4. The aim of the project is to further promote driver acceptance and update standardization and testing for quality and installation specifications. The focus of the investigations is on the selection of the measuring point or detection area on the road as well as the influences of the different measuring methods in the determination of the measured values.

Effectiveness analysis for network control systems and development of the potential of new control strategies (03.0584)
Network control systems (NBA) are used to make more efficient use of existing capacities in the route network of federal highways. In the event of congestions, traffic is redirected to alternative routes if they have remaining capacity. The study is based on the assumption that the potential is not fully exploited with the current use. The present methods are not designed for more complex networks with several alternative routes. Likewise, there are currently no procedures for overall rerouting strategies for complex strategic networks or for determining the effects and interactions of the implementation of such strategies. The aim of the research project is to examine the potential of network control systems and to define variables in order to determine their effect.

Sustainable promotion of bicycle traffic in winter through optimised winter road clearance (77.0518)
Cycling is of considerable importance in promoting sustainable mobility and reducing pollution in cities. In recent years, there has also been a noticeable increase in winter cycling, as more and more people use the bicycle as an everyday means of transport all year round. However, the general conditions for cycling in winter are currently generally poor. The risk for cyclists is significantly higher than in summer. The design of some cycle traffic facilities is unfavourable for trafficability in winter and for carrying out winter road maintenance. The aims of the project are: Recommendations for the practical implementation of winter road maintenance on the different cycle traffic facilities; strategic concept and criteria for the designation of a cycle path network that is safe to cycle on and easy to maintain in winter; recommendations for the planning and design of cycle traffic facilities to facilitate winter road maintenance.

Optimising usage of environmental data in traffic control (03.0567)
In addition to traffic data, current environmental and road conditions form an important basis for variable speed limits (VSL). The research project aims to improve the effect of VSL on traffic safety and to optimise strategies of weather-related circuits. For this purpose, several theses are going to be developed concerning the interactions between weather conditions and weather-related circuits. Subsequently, data analysis will be carried out with weather-dependent traffic programs in order to improve the effectiveness of traffic control. Queries and diagrams of weather-dependent traffic programs will be subject to this data analysis as well as traffic and environmental data of selected route sections in an influenced and uninfluenced area.

Optimization compact parking (6519004)
According to a survey by BASt, in 2018 there was a shortage of around 23,300 truck parking spaces on and along federal motorways. In addition to the conventional expansion of truck parking capacity, special parking methods can also help to provide additional parking space. In these parking methods, several trucks stand next to and behind each other, which could significantly increase the parking capacity on existing rest areas. In Germany, the two different methods "Telematics Controlled Parking for Trucks" and "Intelligent Controlled Compact Parking" are already being used at first rest areas. Compact Parking was developed in a BASt project. Subsequently, BASt accompanied the pilot project for Compact Parking at the rest area Jura West on the A3 motorway in Bavaria. Together with the Bavarian Road Administration, optimizations have been implemented in ongoing operations since 2016. The experience gained and developments in the Compact Parking algorithm are now being conclusively processed by BASt in the form of functional requirements in order to make them available to further deployments. This contributes to the fact that further facilities can be realized in a shorter time to meet the enormous demand for truck parking.

Ensuring safe use of federal trunk roads in heavy snowfall (03.572)
The project will analyse the relationship between snowfall intensity, winter service activities, road condition and traffic flow. The aim is to develop new practical recommendations for winter road clearance services in heavy snowfall in order to maintain the safe flow of traffic. This should take place depending on climate zones in Germany (snowfall intensities and frequencies) and route-related parameters (in particular gradient classes, truck traffic volumes). The associated additional costs for personnel, vehicles, equipment and gritting materials, for example, are to be determined and compared with the expected benefits from improved availability of the federal trunk roads.

Use of the C2X communication standard IEEE 802.11p for public transport prioritisation at signaled nodes (03.0553)
The prioritisation of public transport is an important goal of urban traffic management. In practice, however, the technical implementation of public transport prioritisation is based on very different and partly outdated systems. Developments in the field of connected driving (C2X), based on the communication standard IEEE 802.11p, offer great potential for optimisation and modernisation. Within the framework of the project, the application potentials of C2X-based public transport prioritisations are to be analysed. The aim is to clarify the current technical feasibility in case of new implementations and to replace existing prioritisation systems. The goal is a nationwide uniform concept for the use of the C2X communication standard IEEE 802.11p for public transport priority at signalized intersections, including the EU framework and the necessary degrees of freedom for local adaptations.

Ensuring safe use of federal trunk roads in heavy snowfall (03.0572)
The project will analyse the relationship between snowfall intensity, winter service activities, road condition and traffic flow. The aim is to develop new practical recommendations for winter road clearance services in heavy snowfall in order to maintain the safe flow of traffic. This should take place depending on climate zones in Germany (snowfall intensities and frequencies) and route-related parameters (in particular gradient classes, truck traffic volumes). The associated additional costs for personnel, vehicles, equipment and gritting materials, , are to be determined and compared with the expected benefits from improved availability of the federal trunk roads.

Effects of cooperative systems and autonomous/highly automated driving on traffic flow and requirements for collective traffic control on motorways (30.0538)
The effect of traffic control measures could be significantly changed by vehicle automation –however, the behavior of vehicles is difficult to determine from today's point of view. The tactical behavior of automated vehicles is not sufficiently defined for simulation, for example when changing lanes or selecting distance and actual speed. The research project therefore aims to improve collective traffic control strategies taking into account the influences of automated vehicles. In addition, requirements are to be defined from the perspective of collective traffic control for the control of individual vehicles in longitudinal and transverse guidance (vehicle control behavior) in order to optimize the traffic flow in terms of the control strategies from the operator's point of view.

Optimized control strategies for light signal systems by taking into account vehicle-infrastructure communication (C2X) (03.0559)
In order to optimize the control strategies of traffic light systems, detailed information about traffic events can be used in the future thanks to vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (C2X). Within the framework of the research project, the effects of this new technology are to be investigated by means of simulation. Different situations and scenarios for the use of C2X for the optimisation of control strategies for traffic light systems have to be designed and evaluated, for example improved information transfer to road users or the inclusion of information from different road users. The effects of a growing market penetration of networked vehicles are to be investigated and evaluated step by step with regard to their effectiveness. Furthermore, the technical and organizational challenges for the implementation of a C2X-based control strategy have to be worked out and proposals for solutions have to be outlined. Finally, recommendations for action and prioritisation for the expansion of C2X technology for LSA control must be drawn up.

Use of E-Call data in the context of traffic management - general conditions, feasibility study, implementation concept, recommendations for action (03.0552)
The standard introduction of the E-Call function in new vehicles from 2018 onwards will enable the rapid detection of emergencies in vehicles throughout the entire road network. E-Call provides important data for influencing traffic, which can currently only indirectly conclude that a malfunction has occurred with a significant time delay due to speed drops, or which requires a complex video technology infrastructure. It is to be expected that E-Call will make it possible to detect faults and their causes much more quickly in the future. In this respect, the usability of the data must be checked in order to enable further processing in the traffic centers. This potential of the E-Call data is to be tapped within the framework of the project for the traffic computer centres and the necessary need for action for the practical use of the E-Call data in traffic computer centres is to be presented.

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.

Forecasting ice on specific road sections (04.0279)
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.

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.

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.

Analysing the impacts of climate change on the technical services - Part 1: Analysing the impacts (04.0251)
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 (03.0481)
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.