American technology and consulting firm IBM is piloting new technology that provides real-time support to reduce traffic congestion and facilitate faster incident response in the French city of Lyon.

With the help of real-time traffic data, the system will help traffic operators at the city’s transportation management centre predict outcomes and analyse different scenarios to resolve problems.

The new predictive traffic management technology, Decision Support System Optimizer (DSSO), combines incident detection, incident impact prediction and propagation, traffic prediction and control plan optimisation.

Compatible with the IBM Intelligent Operation Center’s Intelligent Transportation solution, the technology uses the IBM Data Expansion Algorithm, which can estimate traffic data that is not available from sensors using descriptive flow models in conjunction with the available real-time traffic data.

City of Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb said that piloting the analytics technology will help the city to anticipate and avoid many traffic jams before they happen and lessen their impact on citizens.

"Piloting the analytics technology will help the city to anticipate and avoid many traffic jams before they happen."

"Using the data that we are collecting to make more informed decisions will help us to promote about how to resolve unexpected traffic events and optimise public transportation that is becoming a credible alternative to the use of private cars," Collomb added.

Although traffic management centres have video walls and colour maps of real-time traffic that can integrate different streams of traffic data, they do not provide complete situational awareness throughout the transportation network.

The IBM software combines historical and real-time traffic data of Lyon with advanced analytics and algorithms to help model predicted situations under both normal and incident conditions, and the resulting impact throughout the whole network of roads, buses and trams.

The system can also be used to estimate drive times and traffic patterns in a region more accurately and in real-time.

Image: IBM’s new predictive traffic management technology provides real-time support to reduce traffic congestion. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/IBM Corporation.