A system to manage traffic flow in the Ruhr will include a simulation package, to forecast in real time the traffic conditions one hour ahead.
The Ruhrpilot traffic system, built by Siemens, will collect data about the volume, direction and speed of traffic, from 450 sensors in and near roads. Public transport timetables, parking garage availability, construction works, weather and major events are also entered. A central computer keeps Police and officials informed, and also helps road users to plan routes based on actual conditions as well as simple geography. The system is expected to cut traffic jams and accidents by up to 20%, and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10%: it is also claimed it will give drivers an extra few minutes in bed, since they won't have to allow extra time for their journeys. The first stage will cost EU 13.4 million, and this is a 'Public Private Partnership.' The Ruhr conurbation has 5.5 million inhabitants, 53 cities and 13 different transport authorities.
The system will also include a simulation package that will forecast traffic developments up to an hour in advance, and also look up to two weeks in advance at weather and other conditions, so municipalities can forecast particulate deposits. A modest but impressive use of simulation to make lives easier, more efficient, and better. If only London's traffic 'planners' knew about such things!