The effects of road traffic telematics systems on road traffic were analysed and presented in the road traffic telematics strategy for Switzerland for the year 2010. The interaction between motorised private transport and public transport could only be partially considered in this study and this was a reason for creation of this preliminary study.
The main aim of the preliminary study therefore is to look at the interaction between private motorised transport (“private transport”) and public transport following the introduction of traffic telematics systems. The study shows how such systems affect modal choice. The research was limited just to study a passenger transport. The research also covered whether the current methods used for traffic planning (traffic models, elasticity etc.) can be used to estimate these interactive effects.
The study was provided in two steps:
- Detailed review of the available literature,
- Interviews with eight different experts
The literature review and the discussions with experts showed that there is a discrepancy between the expectations placed on traffic telematics and the willingness to make an active use of their potential, and the possible (interactive) effects. The impact of traffic telematics applications is well below expectations and their effects will probably be significantly lower still.
Too little information is available on the effects etc of the various types of traffic telematics applications to allow a comprehensive evaluation to be made. Research to date is heavily biased towards the technology and much less to its effects.
The assessment of the effects of traffic telematics applications is also made more difficult because usually different types of traffic telematics applications are operated together, so that they cannot be assessed separately.
Another difficulty arises from the fact that, for most of the transport telematics services there is still no validated, comprehensive evidence on their quantitative potential diffusion. Any estimation of their acceptance by users and a resulting change in users’ behaviour can only be made on the basis of many assumptions.
Research also investigated the effects of traffic telematics applications. Switzerland should use its influence on EU research to encourage this. At the same time, all future traffic telematics applications, which are set up in Switzerland, should be subjected to detailed monitoring and review.
The monitoring should be carried out on the basis of proper before-and-after studies. Any assumptions and conditions which have to be made should be set out in advance. The before-and-after studies can then be combined with interviews and model applications so that the individual benefits (demand effects) can be studied separately.
The traffc planning tools, which are, available today are not adequate for the estimation of interactive effects resulting from traffic telematics applications. Traffic telematics systems bring new aspects of traffic behaviour into play; these cannot presently be modelled. New parameters, such as the degree to which users are informed, play a role. New parameters are needed for the benefit functions which are contained in the models. Research should be made into the question as to how the existing tools used in traffic planning can be extended to include the new parameters.