Clean air in the city

Strasbourg is the first city in France to optimize its signal control system in order to improve air quality using PTV technology

Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, 20/02/2018. Cities around the world are struggling with fine dust and air pollution problems and are looking for efficient solutions. Yesterday, Strasbourg’s Eurométropole implemented a first action designed to improve the city’s air quality. It is the first city association in France to deploy a new signal control system in order to cut emissions by avoiding stop-and-go. Professional software tools were used to simulate and illustrate the positive effects of this air pollution control measure. The basic technology is provided by the market's leading traffic and transport specialist PTV Group. If the simulation results are confirmed in practice, the city association wants to install the professional signal control system at further road sections.

“Strasbourg – Breathable City and Metropolitan Region“ (“Ville et Métropole respirable“), that is the motto of the French Air Pollution Control programme introduced in 2015. One of the specific actions aims at improving road traffic management in Strasbourg. The simulation results were so convincing that the project is now entering the next phase: Field tests with the traffic-adaptive signal control PTV Epics are now carried out along one of the city’s main arterial roads.

A major problem in cities is stop-and-go traffic which leads to higher emissions. Gridlock occurs in urban areas because of the sheer volume of traffic and the sheer number of intersections controlled by traffic lights or stop signs. “PTV software helps optimize signal control programs in order to minimize waiting times at traffic lights and thus reduce the number of stop-and-go waves,” explains Frédéric Reutenauer, Project Officer and Vice President Project Management & Services at PTV Group. “We used the traffic simulation software PTV Vissim to visualize the effect on traffic by analysing the traffic flow at six signalized intersections of Avenue de Colmar located south of Strasbourg. The waiting time for all road users at traffic lights controlled by our software tool PTV Epics was below 45 seconds in 85 percent of all cases. Currently, this only applies to 35 percent.” 

The simulation also revealed that

·         vehicle stops could be reduced by nine percent

·         nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) could be cut by eight percent and

·         particulate matter (PM10) pollution by nine percent

Eurométropole Strasbourg and the air pollution control authority AtMO Grand Est were highly interested in the results. "The reduction of the number of stops will significantly reduce polluting emissions on the road,” says Emmanuel Rivière, Directeur Général Adjoint AtMO Grand Est. Based on the simulation, PTV technology was integrated into FARECO’s control units installed at the junctions of Avenue de Colmar. “The test phase is expected to last until summer. It will then be defined in which additional areas this new technology should be rolled out,” explains Frédéric Reutenauer. “As a native of Strasbourg, I’m particularly pleased that our technology helps improve the air quality in the European capital. And I’m confident that we will also obtain convincing results during the field tests.


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Background information:


About PTV Epics


Traffic-adaptive signal control is one of the most efficient and effective instruments for avoiding stop-and-go and keeping inner-city traffic moving without having to spend a lot of money expanding road infrastructure. The model-based process observes local conditions and calculates numerous control options every second. In this process, it takes all modes of transport into account - from individual motorised transport and pedestrians to prioritising public transport.

PTV. The Mind of Movement

PTV Group takes a holistic approach that integrates all aspects of traffic, transport and logistics to create and promote sustainable mobility. Recognised as global market leader, PTV develops intelligent software solutions for transport logistics, traffic planning and traffic management. Thus cities, companies and people save time and money, enhance road safety and minimise the impact on the environment. Based on its unique expertise in every facet of mobility, PTV ensures that people and goods arrive at their destinations safe and sound, and on time.

More than 2,500 cities deploy PTV products. Trips and routes for over one million vehicles are planned with our software. The European transport model, which encompasses all passenger transport and freight movements in Europe, is developed using PTV software. We currently have more than 800 colleagues worldwide committed to driving the high performance of our products. PTV’s headquarters, located in the heart of the Karlsruhe technology region, house the company’s centre of development and innovation. From here, PTV plans and optimises everything that moves people and goods worldwide – it's the central idea which has accompanied the Group since its foundation in 1979.

The German company PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG is a member of PTV Group. www.ptvgroup.com

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Corporate Communications
Kristina Stifter
Head of Global Communications

Phone:+49 721-9651-565

Avenue de Colmar located south of Strasbourg was selected for the simulation run and the first test phase. It is one of Strasbourg’s arterial roads.


The traffic management centre SIRAC in Strasbourg: Thanks to PTV’s simulation software it was possible to illustrate how signal control optimization can help improve air quality.


Frédéric Reutenauer, Vice President Project Management & Services at PTV Group, supervises the Strasbourg-based project on the PTV side.