Hamburg Collaborates with SWARCO, Audi, and HERE to Study Interactions Between Traffic Lights and Flow

The City of Hamburg, and companies SWARCO and Audi have collaborated on a pilot project with HERE – a company that provides mapping and location data – to study the interactions between traffic lights and traffic flow. They examined if traffic flow and vehicle emissions were improved when drivers were provided with information about traffic lights on the road ahead. They also examined if relevant real-time infrastructure data collected from 70 intersections could be managed efficiently by a cloud platform, and be delivered to drivers in a timely manner through existing mobile 3G/4G/LTE channels.

LSA Hamburg provided HERE with all the raw traffic signal data, along with the topology and location of the city’s traffic lights. HERE then created digital models of some of the most complex intersections in the city of Hamburg and added them to the HERE Open Location Platform, along with the raw traffic data to create a centralized, cloud-based repository of information.

By connecting to the HERE Open Location Platform, SWARCO was able to build predictive models based on the combination of the raw data from the city of Hamburg and the HERE intersection models. Those predictions were then made available to applications in near-real time, with Audi providing the vehicles and the driver applications.

When drivers were provided with knowledge of the condition of oncoming traffic signals, they experienced smoother traffic and their vehicles produced fewer emissions. The system appears to have reduced unnecessary acceleration – which also reduced braking – thus creating a smoother flow of traffic. It also served to  optimize the start-stop engine feature (idle engine time) when waiting for a red light to change.