Swarm data from mobile phone networks makes traffic flows more visible

Cooperation of Motionlogic and PTV Group incorporates floating phone data into traffic models

Karlsruhe/Frankfurt, 06. December 2016. Telekom subsidiary Motionlogic and the software producer PTV Group have entered into a strategic cooperation in the mobility sector in order to provide new quality for the planning and optimisation of traffic with well-founded analysis of traffic and movement streams. Urban transport planners and operators can thus calibrate transport models and the current traffic situation and map travel demand in real time.

Two companies bundle their competencies: Motionlogic provides the data from traffic and movement streams, which is based on anonymised signal data from the mobile phone network. And the PTV Group's traffic experts process the movement streams further with their software: They create the appropriate planning basis and thus provide new possibilities for visualising, modelling, and optimising traffic.

Varied areas of application

There is great added value for cities and communities if they can just visualise the actual traffic interdependence between their traffic zones. The integration of the movement data into the PTV planning tool makes this possible. Various scenarios for private and public transport can be planned with an eye to the future – whether in the macroscopic traffic modelling, microscopic traffic simulation or real-time traffic management with the PTV Optima software.

Added value from mobile phone data

For transport planners, origin-destination relations play an important role. The greatest challenge for their determination is frequently the modelling of the selected destination, especially since there was previously no suitable measurement variable for this. Traffic surveys are time-consuming and expensive and do not always produce statistically meaningful results. Here, floating phone data (FPD, in addition to FCD/floating car data) provides a much better basis for planning.

Motionlogic makes weekday-specific origin-destination matrices available for this. PTV technology and expertise then visualise the individual traffic zones and transform the data into clear figures and planning scenarios. In addition, there are also down-to-the-hour departure and arrival figures. Using these zone-by-zone traffic patterns, demand can be depicted not just as a day matrix, but in much more granular fashion, on an hourly basis.

For transport operators, the depiction of travel demand in public transport is of special interest. For with it, the actual demand behaviour can be detected, in order to use it to orient new concepts and provide customer-appropriate capacities.

Conclusion and forecast

Normally, it is only possible to make "qualified guesses” as to where people are going. With the integration of this empirical data, it is now possible to know much more precisely which percentage of the road users are going from zone A to zone B at what point in time.

All transport planners for whom travel demand is an important input variable will profit from the strategic cooperation of Motionlogic with PTV. They can thus assess reliably existing origin-destination matrices, calibrate the destination selection model or validate entire transport models. The user can select from among three different offerings:  1. Purchase Motionlogic data for PTV software for individual use. 2. Commission a consolidation with additional existing data (individual/at PTV). 3. Have a transport model created that is based solely on Motionlogic data.

The cooperation was already tested successfully in the course of a pilot project with a new transport model for the city of Karlsruhe. In the next step, the two companies will work together to output travel demand for the means of transport separately. 


572 words. Author's copy kindly requested.

PTV. The Mind of Movement

PTV Group plans and optimises everything that moves people and goods worldwide – be it transport routes, distribution structures or private and public transport. The company offers software, data, content, consulting and research. Thanks to expert knowledge in traffic and transport planning, PTV occupies a unique position.

Environmentally-compatible and cost-effective mobility requires finely-tuned coordination of flows of traffic and goods, so that people and products can reach their destinations safely and efficiently. The focus here is on road safety, climate protection and future-proof mobility concepts. PTV solutions in transport logistics, traffic planning and traffic management help to achieve this, even in real time.

In the Logistics business field, PTV’s portfolio ranges from software for scheduling transport routes and trips to distribution planning and fleet management, including truck navigation and parking. A special online service provides real-time transparency during the transport process and across the entire supply chain. In the Traffic business field, PTV offers software, data and scientific techniques for modelling and simulating traffic networks. This helps traffic and city planners in over 120 countries to organise optimal traffic flow.

PTV's headquarters have been located in Karlsruhe – a centre of innovation and development – since the company was founded in 1979. Around 700 employees around the world are working on powerful solutions for public administration, government departments, trade and industry.

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

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Corporate PR, Research
Kristina Stifter
Head of Global Communications

Phone:+49 721 - 9651 - 565

Norbert Werber of Motionlogic and Nicolas Doucet of PTV sign the strategic coopera-tion for better traffic management.


The graphic depicts the traffic flow for a typical residential area on the edge of the city: with steep morning peak and broader evening peak.