Promoting traffic research in Africa

Prospective traffic engineers learning how to optimise signal control at the lights lab of SSML

Prospective traffic engineers learning how to optimise signal control at the lights lab of SSML

Ever since its foundation as a university spin-off, close cooperation with partners and research facilities has been a top priority at PTV. The Group has established a global network, reaching from its German hometown Karlsruhe to universities and researchers all over Europe, America, Asia and even Africa. The Stellenbosch Smart Mobility Lab (SSML), located near Cape Town, South Africa, is one of these partners.

 

 

Smart City ideas for developing countries

The SSML is a state-of-the-art research facility established at Stellenbosch University to assist in research and implementation of intelligent transport systems applications. The goal is to promote sustainable, safe and optimised transport within the developing country context. The Lab brings together various fields, including transport engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, as well as statistics and transport economics.

 

Supporting the traffic engineers of tomorrow

A network of traffic specialists: SSML, PTV Group, TomTom, the South African National Roads Agency, Syntell and ITS South Africa

A network of traffic specialists: SSML, PTV Group, TomTom, the South African National Roads Agency, Syntell and ITS South Africa

“The partnership between SSML and PTV Group covers a range of activities,” explains Vidal Roca, Regional Sales Director for Africa at PTV Group. “First of all, we are providing licences for our transport demand modelling and microsimulation software PTV Visum and PTV Vissim.” In addition to that, PTV is organising training courses. In one of the latest courses, 3rd year civil engineering students were introduced to traffic simulation software and learned how to investigate traffic operations along a road segment and how to do a complete traffic impact study.

Connected vehicles and traffic state estimation

“Supporting PhD or MEng students is also an important part of the cooperation,” adds Vidal Roca. “Just last year, MEng student Aadil Kriel used PTV Vissim and a software add-in to simulate the effect of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to test the impact of connected vehicles on traffic operations. And PhD researcher Megan Bruwer travelled to Germany and visited lab partners at PTV to gain valuable insight into the use of probe data to estimate traffic state.”

 

Conferences all around Africa

Megan Bruwer, specialist for Traffic Flow Theory and real-time transport modelling.

The third pillar of the partnership are joint presentations at conferences all around Africa. Next on the list are the i-Transport and UATP Conference hosted by ITS South Africa in Johannesburg between February 14 and 16. “Megan Bruwer will be talking about real-time traffic management in developing countries,” notes Vidal Roca. “If you are around and interested in Smart City concepts, you should definitely take the opportunity to meet her.” In May, the SSML will be present at the 8th Africa Transportation Technology Transfer Conference in Zambia, presenting research on adaptive signal control in developing countries done in collaboration with PTV Group.