What effects do the ambition to achieve sustainability and digitalisation have on the way we move around in the city and the metropolitan region? With integrated models and data, TNO is bringing the future into focus and helping government authorities to take well-founded decisions.
Various challenges are facing our cities: city populations are increasing and places are getting more crowded. This inevitably places a greater strain on infrastructure and the environment. In the Paris Climate Accord, the mobility system is something we have agreed to make sustainable. Moreover, new technologies are destined for the cities, such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and (connected) automatic driving ((C)AD). It is TNO's mission to offer government authorities the insight they need to provide optimal direction, so that they can benefit from the opportunities offered by these technologies. Integrated models, showing simultaneously the environmental impact and the energy consumption involved, help achieve this.
Managing to a goal
Jeroen Borst, programme manager Digitalisation at TNO Traffic &Transport, is cooperating with government authorities and businesses on the development of these models: “The exodus towards the city is increasing urban pressure. The same applies to the road network. And then there's the scarcity of space to relax, healthy air and silence. This is a major concern for cities. The mobility system is gridlocked while, conversely, cities want their areas where people spend time and reside to be attractive and accessible. If you leave how this unfolds to the market and don't manage with a goal in mind, everyone will optimise things for themselves and you may find yourself in a very negative scenario, in which for example a suburb is no longer accessible by public transport.”
Working in layers
TNO is developing the models in layers. Onboard units bring recommended speeds and information about the locality and other road users to the driver. We incorporate the data this produces in simulation models that help us to understand the driver's behaviour. In addition to this, we are building instruments such as Urban Strategy, an interactive instrument for spatial planning. Finally, we are developing methods for using decision-making information. For example, with fact-based impact assessment and policy advice we can ensure that, say, a councillor or a CEO applies the simulation models and instruments optimally. And with the deployment of disruptive technologies we are making new technologies practicable.