Traffic Management and development of technologies
The development and starting of a system of traffic data collection based on a floating car data system was one of the first tasks. Fully equipped, cars transmit their GPS position, time, speed and driving direction in Hefei. On an aggregated level, the floating car data provides a real time overview of the traffic situation in Hefei. Originally, only taxicabs were to be equipped with GPS and on-board unit. However, after overcoming some difficulties taxicabs, busses, 200 police cars and 1200 construction vehicles provide the data for the traffic management system. Thus, the number of 7000 floating taxicabs has been increased to 9000 vehicles of four different kinds.
Currently, the traffic management system as well as the floating car data system are being installed. In the first phase of the METRASYS project, ASEC already installed a vehicle fleet management system for private taxicabs fleets. The system indicates the position and the number of passengers. Additionally, the system operator can contact the taxi driver; one objective of developing the vehicle fleet management system was to increase the safety of taxi drivers. A preliminary analysis of the taxi movements shows that about 50% of all cab drives are empty drives. On those empty drives, taxi drivers attempt to find new passengers while driving through Hefei. This could be one chance for reducing energy consumption and for improving the traffic situation. In the future, a taxi control room could reduce the number of empty drives by directly connecting passengers and taxi drivers.
(see also: METRASYS Working Paper_Traffic Management in the Context of Sustainable Urban Transport)
Urban and Transportation Planning: Planning a “Walkable City" and the Hefei High-Speed Railway City Quarter
Integrating the traffic management system within the overall transportation planning and transportation policy framework in Hefei is one objective of the METRASYS project. Originally, it was scheduled to work on this objective in late 2010. Due to the close cooperation and exchange with the Chinese local partners, the Hefei Institute of Planning and Design expressed its interest in consultancy for the advancement of sustainable urban and transportation planning. To satisfy this need, some work packages have been rescheduled. In 2009, there have been several meetings of the METRASYS team and the Hefei Institute of Planning and Design to discuss special topics of urban and transportation planning.
The METRASYS project team has been asked to participate in the conceptual design for a sustainable city quarter, which is located south of the city center, adjacent to the planned high-speed railway station. See also: Urban Planning.
Furthermore, the Hefei Institute of Planning and Design, Hefei Transportation Planning as well as the METRASYS project team decided to develop a concept for sustainable transport in the historic central areas of Hefei. The idea of the “Walkable City” includes an area-wide, highly clocked public transport, thus reducing measurably the individual motor vehicle transport. At the same time, innovative transport modes and transport system are incorporated, e.g. car sharing and bike rental systems. A student workshop in Hefei and in Germany in 2011 were part of the development of the walkable city concept. The objective of the workshop was the development of a masterplan "Walkable Historic Center" (see also News "Winterschool for Students - „Hefei Slowmotion - Strategic Design Proposal for Walkable Cities“).