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'VIAJEO' for more efficient travel, transport planning

The newly launched EU-funded VIAJEO project will design, demonstrate and implement an IT-based open platform to collect and process data for travel information and transport planning in cities in Europe, China and Brazil.

Urban traffic © Peter Gutierrez
Improving urban traffic in
Europe and further abroad
© Peter Gutierrez

Today's cities and urban areas are seeing serious and increasing demands on their transportation systems, requiring effective planning for public mobility, better management of urban traffic, and provision of a wide range of traveller information services.

Officially launched in September 2009 at the ITS World Congress in Stockholm, and coordinated by  ERTICOexternal link - ITS Europe, VIAJEO is funded under the 'Transport' theme of the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). As an international co-operative initiative, VIAJEO is part of a larger EU push to promote transport research projects with third countries. These include the FP6-funded SIMBA project, aimed at fostering European collaboration on road transport research with emerging economies, including Brazil, South-Africa, India and China. SIMBA is also coordinated by ERTICO.

The 'open platform' proposed by VIAJEO will facilitate information exchange and centralise data from various sources, providing needed support to transport management and city planners. “With the fast development of new data collection and dissemination technologies, integration of new data sources and services is becoming a real challenge for data management,” says European Commission Project Officer Patrick Mercier-Handisyde.

Patrick Mercier-Handisyde © Peter Gutierrez
Patrick Mercier-Handisyde
© Peter Gutierrez

"The objective of this project is to offer a comprehensive solution to enhance efficiency of data collection and usage, thus improving overall urban transport services and planning."

Great expectations

Demonstrations are planned to start from 2010 in a number of selected cities, including Athens, São Paulo, Beijing and Shanghai. The cities have been carefully chosen as national role models. “We hope that successful results in the demonstration cities will be extended to other cities in these countries, or even to other countries in their respective continents”, explains Vincent Blervaque, ERTICO’s Director of Development and Deployment.

Project partners say implementation of the open platform in Europe and in its partner countries China and Brazil is expected to contribute to more sustainable urban transport schemes that will feature:

  • Better access for all travellers
  • Increased acceptance and uptake of new urban transport solutions and technologies
  • Reduced road transport pollution
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Increased safety in urban transport

Confidence is key

Project partners feel confident that informed travellers, transport operators and city planners, given better and more comprehensive information, will choose to act in such a way that reduces congestion and negative environmental impact in urban areas.

The VIAJEO team includes end users, traffic managers, public authorities, transport operators, equipment manufacturers, service providers, application and service developers, content owners and providers, and research organisations. The multi-sector make-up of the partnership will ensure a comprehensive social, economic and environmental assessment of the implementation of project results.

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