One of the ways to enhance urban mobility conditions is to provide individuals and collective actors with accurate and detailed journey-time information for all their journeys and, in particular, those made by the private car. This information relies on real-time road traffic-flow measurements, which, up to now, are essentially based on infrastructure (magnetic loops or cameras). It is held that this real-time information is essential for actors when deciding between alternative transport modes in preparing a trip, and also in helping actors decide between alternative routes during the journey.
The PUMAS project aimed to develop a software platform for collecting and analysing road traffic information in real-time. The software platform was addressed to local Public Authorities (towns, cities, regions), so as to, using accurate and real-time vehicle speed and journey times, provided them with:
- knowledge of real-time traffic conditions along urban and peripheral networks,
- a precise tool for urban mobility decision-making,
- an estimate of greenhouse and pollutant gas emissions, in real-time and throughout the area.
The PUMAS project is based on building four major conceptual and technical components:
- the reference point: the PUMAS Point
- the journey-time information collector: the PUMAS Box
- the virtual mailboxes: the PUMAS Spot
- the modelling of the urban network using a journey-time approach: the PUMAS Server.
The main outcomes of the PUMAS project were:
- a more efficient management for travels in the agglomeration (less time wasted, consumption, energy, pollution, etc.);
- a reduction of their environmental impacts;
- incentives for the use of public transport by the provision to users of information enabling them to choose the fastest and lowest polluting mode of transport, during peak traffic;
- reduced costs of investment and maintenance of the systems for the community, and therefore for taxpayers.