Betterways’ vocation is traffic

Betterways objective is to provide the added value services necessary for a Smart City, so that the management of the transport infrastructure, in combination with the adequate ICT applications, is able to:

  • Guarantee a flexible and efficient local accessibility
  • Provide a sustainable, innovative and secure transport system

Consequently Betterways is specialized in the design, feasibility analysis, application evaluation and solutions proposals for Smart Cities, and Betterways’ products have been designed and developed keeping in mind those objectives.

Betterways has achieved a global view of urban traffic and each one of the single components of a long chain that begins with the most basic elements – infrastructure and traffic data – up to the most innovative ones like Intelligent Transport Systems.

Betterways combines the highest technology with a deep knowledge of the traffic sector. This combination comes out from the collaboration of half of TSS founding partners with the independent university laboratory InLab and working together with Everis.

Smart cities

Driver

A Smart City is that with the capacity to give an answer to the challenges raised by the technologic development in the ambit of socioeconomic development and quality of life. It is the city that uses technology, especially ICT, to transform its basic systems and optimize the return from its limited resources. Within a Smart City it is a must to count with the proper instrumentation and the interconnection of mobile devices, sensors and actuators, which leads to the gathering and analysis of urban data in unprecedented quantities, of superior quality and whose analysis substantially improves the capacity to predict and manage urban flows and therefore the capacity to push an intelligent management of the city.

The city’s “intelligence” is a result coming from:

  • Sensor availability: allows the digitalization of urban systems and its monitoring in order to gather data that allows to measure its behaviour, making possible its improvement
  • Interconnection: allows to link the different parts of the basic system, achieves a general communication and makes possible the data processing that turns data into information, and
  • The intelligence as the capacity to use the generated information to identify behavioural patterns and translate them into knowledge to actuate in an adequate way.

The former points apply, especially, to Smart Mobility, one of the pillars of a Smart City which, relying on the transport infrastructure and the proper ICT has to:

  • Guarantee a flexible and efficient local accessibility
  • Provide a sustainable, innovative and secure transport system

So the Smart City is a sensored city in which, regarding Smart Mobility, its transport infrastructure (transport network, public transport, other soft modes) is equipped with a network of fixed traffic sensors (data gathering points such as magnetic sensors, radar, cameras, Bluetooth/WiFi aerials, ...) plus mobile devices with GPS capability, such as PND and Smartphones. Those mobile devices have radically changed the frame of information, that was exclusively conceived for the vehicle and that now is orientated towards the citizen who undertakes a trip in a certain moment with the intention of reaching a destination on time and who may use a single transport mode or a combination, depending on that which s/he finds more convenient. That change, lead by mobile devices, has simultaneously turned those devices into data sources and added value data receptors.

But we have to keep our attention on the fact that if the starting point of a city’s smartness are the sensors and the efficient data gathering, full smartness will only be achieved through an efficient data processing to generate reliable, punctual (time and position) and added value (predictive capacity) information.

The way to this full smartness requires the adequate tools to make the correct decisions. The purpose of Betterways is to keep on working on the development of the necessary tools for the methodological process that:

  1. Arises in a rational, efficient and economic way the question of which sensors are necessary, how many are required and where must they be placed as a function of the objectives set by the person responsible of decision-making.
  2. Helps to obtain the best and most efficient information from heterogeneous and possibly inconsistent data provided by different types of sensors. The methods and algorithms coming from Data Fusion give an answer to this question.
  3. Is it possible to reach an estimation of the global state of a transport network and predict its short term evolution using only sensor data? The answer is no, presently and for a very long time. Betterways’ tools provide a reliable solution (dynamic estimation of mobility patterns represented by Origin-Destination matrices and dynamic models of the evolution of traffic flows in a transport network).
  4. Which is the best way to draw on this information about the state of the transport network and it short term evolution? We propose two main areas for actuation:
    • Decision Support Systems for the management of urban areas or highway networks through the use of Active Traffic Management to identify the operational point of the network and which are the most recommendable management policies for the traffic conditions at that moment.
    • Advanced Real-time Information Systems and their generic applications (information diffusion through VMS, RDS-TMC, etc.) or specific applications for navigation, both for private users and corporative ones (logistic fleets, both concerning people – transport on demand – and goods).