Europe News: Journey Dynamics and ITIS announce traffic forecasting partnership

Europe News:  Journey Dynamics and ITIS announce traffic forecasting partnership

Under the agreement, Journey Dynamics incorporates ITIS' Floating Vehicle Data (FVD) into its traffic intelligence model in order to produce highly accurate traffic speed forecasting using complex analysis of historical traffic information.

The partnership will allow Journey Dynamics to sell its traffic intelligence commercially.

John Holland, chief operating officer of Journey Dynamics, comments: "Journey Dynamics evaluated the FVD from a number of providers, and determined that ITIS offered the broadest coverage of both roads and vehicle types. ITIS also consistently demonstrated that its data was of the highest quality and therefore they were the ideal partner for us to make the most of our sophisticated traffic intelligence model."

For the past two years Journey Dynamics has held a development licence with ITIS, enabling the company to use ITIS' FVD in order to develop its traffic intelligence model. The newly signed agreement now allows Journey Dynamics to sell its traffic intelligence commercially to application developers, device manufacturers and technology partners.

The commercial agreement takes the form of a long-term renewable contract. The terms of the agreement give Journey Dynamics access to the entirety of ITIS' UK traffic data in order to maintain and update its traffic intelligence model. Also, ITIS has the option to license Journey Dynamics' unique model to aid its own application development.

Stuart Marks, chief executive officer of ITIS, comments: "We have worked with many organisations in the traffic analysis marketplace and we believe that Journey Dynamics has produced a comprehensive and high quality model for forecasting likely speeds across the UK. I look forward to our continued working relationship with Journey Dynamics in order to produce traffic applications that will harness the individual strengths of both organisations."

According to Holland, the agreement with ITIS marks the start of the commercial availability of Journey Dynamics' UK-specific traffic intelligence model. However, this is only the first in a suite of traffic intelligence models that will be offered to the international market. Journey Dynamics is working to tailor its modelling capability to meet the individual needs of several other countries.

Telematics Update put some questions to Journey Dynamics' John Holland (chief operating officer) and Richard Jelbert (chief technology officer):

Q: What kind of company is the target of the combined ITIS/ JD data? How will they be able to use the data? What is the process of integrating traffic data in an LBS application?

John Holland: Journey Dynamics has used the ITIS data to calibrate it's modelling technology, and from this has been able to produce speed forecasts with a range factor and a confidence factor. This has been done for all 3.8 million links in the UK road network for every day of the week (we will add more days in the future, e.g. public holidays, and seasonal variations), and every hour of the day for HGV, LGV, Car and Coach vehicle types. This level of detail enables us to provide intelligence to both the consumers (e.g. on mobile phones), PND manufacturers and mapping web services, all the way through to logistics and scheduling application developers.

We target device manufacturers, application developers and service companies rather than the end user. We are seeing a number of uses depending on which market you're looking at. For instance, with our intelligence embedded into a routing engine within a scheduling application, developers can add some significant routing options, e.g. confidence that you will arrive at a given time. For general use, obviously different routes can be computed depending on the time of day.

Typically, we are being embedded into the routing engine and being used as part of the selection for the route, important when you want to consider routes for different times of the day. In the initial stages we found some people started by using our intelligence to process a route and get a more accurate ETA or ETD. This is always seen as the first step, since the most benefit is recognised when the routing engine can call on the more accurate speeds, speed range and confidence we can deliver.

Q: Navteq has just announced a partnership with PTV in Germany for traffic data. Is there anybody else providing traffic data in the UK? Might this kind of data be perfect for Navteq's ongoing battle to get traffic data partnerships across Europe – before Tom Tom does?

John Holland: As far as we know, Journey Dynamics is the only provider of this level of intelligence in the UK. We have built our modelling software so that it will be applicable internationally and we have plans to roll out across Europe. We believe that modelling to the link level and with differing vehicle types will put us ahead of the competition, and because we have modelled to this level, future enhancements to include responding to weather forecasts and providing a personalisation capability will maintain our position.

Q: What is the historical data based on? Can you tell us about the intelligence models? Without spilling any secrets, can you tell us how they work andhow they can be applied internationally?

Richard Jelbert: Journey Dynamics has taken a completely different approach to the traffic modelling problem. We assumed that we don't have any data available for specific roadsegments, and built themodelling architecture upfrom that premise. We then use real driven test routes to calibrate our model and continuously refine the results as more data becomes available.Consequently, our architecture allows us to deliver a full countrywide historic data product with only minimal probe data, which is a key advantage for us when rolling outin Europe.

The model has also been designed to cope with the complex roadnetwork in European countries, which is quite different to the highway-centricnetworks in the US. Simply applying US-based modelling technology in Europe does not work, particularlywith navigation layers 2 to 5.Our test methodology,which involves the use of more than 600,000 km of real driven test journeys in the UK,enables us to demonstratethe highresolution and accurate traffic forecasts that can be achieved whenusing our products.This same approach will be applied in our other territories.

Q: Can you tell us aboutthe different sources you might be using (anything more innovative than the usual GVT info plus logs from fleet management systems bought from Cybit et al)?

Richard Jelbert: One of our key aims when developing the Journey Dynamics traffic intelligence modelwas to provide accurate forecasts for all road types in all areas of the target country. In the UK, we work very closely with ITIS Holdings, who provides us with high quality GPS probe data that we use to calibrate our model. Road loop and mast sensor data is fine for limited road segments, and in fact provides useful information about traffic density that is not so readily available when using GPS probe data. We have chosen to use all available data sources, but we focus mainly on GPS probe and C-FVD (CellularFloating Vehicle Data) becauseit allows us tobetter understand traffic behaviouracross all junction and road types in all areas.

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