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Traffic telematics for the support of traffic management in extraordinary situations (VSS2009/902)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Natural catastrophes, industrial accidents or the collapse of parts of the primary infrastructure represent elementary challenges for civilizations. This is valid in particular for densely populated countries such as Switzerland.

The transportation network is the critical factor in extraordinary situations. It serves as a means to secure the supply of emergency services and evacuations. The aim of this research project is therefore to indicate the possibilities of traffic telematics for the support of traffic management in extraordinary situations.

The coordination of transport in case of an incident, “Koordination des Verkehrswesens im Ereignisfall” (KOVE) has a central role in responding to national incidents. It will be of great importance to recognise complex interlaced connections, to display and analyse them. Due to the foreseen expert group, which consists of different national and cantonal authorities and organisations for traffic and for crisis management as well as of experts for traffic telematics, the report will evaluate the needs, the available instruments, possible action and co-ordination needs as well as a proposal for the further procedure for the use of traffic telematics applications. Besides the mainly national focus of the report, an international comparison is foreseen as well.


The objective of this study is the documentation, evaluation of the need for action for the different involved authorities and organisations as well as the synthesis of traffic telematics for the support of traffic management in extraordinary situations.

The areas of conflict of this research study are the existing national and cantonal crisis organisation structures as well as the infrastructure and, since 2008, the traffic management under the responsibility of the Swiss Federal Road Administration. The result of this study will analyse the instruments of traffic telematics for the traffic management centrums in Switzerland and for the national traffic management plans under the criterion of the management of extraordinary situations and compiles the relevant needs, the required next steps and corresponding proposals.


The use of transport telematics in support of a rapid and optimal mastering exceptional situations can only be developed together with the crisis organisations and those responsible for traffic management. To ensure this, we have requested the responsible authorities / bodies to contribute their experiences and needs at the traffic telematics in the form of workshops in the research. We were able to win the following organisations for their joint work in an expert group on this research project. At the request of contracting this Expert Group will provide the advisory group for the research assignment:

· Federal Office for Civil Protection, Nick Wenger

· Managing body coordination of transport incidents, Ulrich Schär

· Traffic Management Center Switzerland, Marc Wijnhoff

· Operation Center SBB passenger, Martin Zeller

· Traffic control Zurich cantonal police, Marc Neracher

· Cantonal crisis organization Basel-Stadt, Simona Dematté

· Dutch National Police Agency - KLPD, Jan Malenstein, Senior Advisor ITS

(Participation in international expertise if necessary confirmed)

For this research project, it will be of great importance to recognise, present and analyse complex networked contexts. A first rough representation of this can be found in the text. Together with our experts in traffic telematics and traffic management, as well as experts to a detailed overview of the specific capabilities of the instruments to be developed as a support for traffic management in extraordinary situations. Here in the steps of the available data, technologies, structures and information channels on their suitability checked (2nd Workshop) and in a 3rd workshop of the action in terms of traffic management, the need for traffic telematics is detected (1st workshop) found.

The individual need clarifications and stock shots effected subsequently between the workshops through the proposed project staff before each of the workshops, the detailed analysis and processing. The method of morphological box is used for the compilation of detailed requirements. Various feasible solutions are worked out, a brief description and a recommendation for further processing.

For the project, it is crucial (and so on traffic management plans, Phase Red, Ecosafe deployment plans of the cantonal police) to detect the existing plans and existing crisis organizational structures so that their collective knowled


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)



The number of major accidents and natural disasters has significantly increased worldwide in recent years and these kinds of events are expected in future too. In many cases it is not possible to deal with the event with ordinary processes and structures which is then called an extraordinary situation.

The maintenance of the transport network is critical to tackling an extraordinary situation since the network serves to supply, transport forces and also to evacuate people from affected areas. Accordingly, appropriate traffic management measures are to be triggered taking into account the condition of the transport network, traffic volumes and all other relevant information for the best possible choice of action. With the help of traffic telematics applications, conditions for a quick and comprehensive collection and processing of all relevant data and therefore a timely triggering of traffic management measures can be created.

The research paper in hand examined the possibilities traffic telematics features offer in coping with and solving extraordinary situations. Based on a review of literature and informative interviews with experts from organizations dealing with extraordinary situations, the need for improvement of traffic telematics applications could be detected. With the help of two case studies, current existing limitations and the need for optimization of the handling of extraordinary situations was able to be illustrated. These different aspects were ultimately the basis for the determination of the optimal use of transport telematics.

It is a fact that every day traffic telematics can, in principle also be used for dealing and coping with special situations. As extraordinary situations require other needs, especially greater coordination, measures and decision making trade offs, special needs are demanded from processes and the use of traffic telematics applications. There are therefore various gaps or weaknesses in the use of traffic telematics. As a lot of steps are (must be) carried out manually, there are big gaps in the unified and automatic acquisition and processing of traffic data. Quick intervention though is essential for an optimal use of human resources and fast processing of all information. The lack of missing redundant crisis-proof power supply and communication channels for sensors and actuating elements are particular weaknesses of the current traffic telematics. These weaknesses mean that human resources have to be committed and bound, even i


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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