Kapsch improves traffic mobility in Vienna

  • November 29, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

The city of Vienna is working with local firm Kapsch TrafficCom to create climate-friendly mobility with Traffic Management 2.0 to help achieve net zero targets by 2050.

In the fight against the global climate crisis and its consequences, emission reduction in traffic plays an essential role. The digitalisation of traffic management is an important lever for cities that want to reduce emissions while simultaneously improving the traffic experience.

Deploying Traffic Management 2.0 paves the way in defining real improvements to air quality and this project shows how technology can play a role in achieving a decarbonisation plan.

Intelligent, networked systems not only increase traffic safety, but also contribute to climate protection. They enable smooth transportation and thus reduce emissions. Vienna is at the forefront here, too, with a lighthouse project jointly pursued with Kapsch TrafficCom.

The Grüne Welle Wien app is the first step of the Traffic Management 2.0 project. It will help cyclists and car drivers make their way through city traffic at much less effort and stress, as well as in a more fuel-efficient and comfortable way. The smartphone app either shows at which speed – within the permitted speed limit – the next traffic light can be reached at green or how many seconds it will still be on red. If a traffic light is on red, road users may coast and thus still be moving when the light turns green again. This means fewer start-ups and a much better flow of traffic. In the case of cars, this saves up to 15% fuel and emissions. When cycling, the app lets the rider adjust the physical effort to the green phases and to travel more smoothly through the city.

“We are working on further climate protection measures in road traffic,” said Ulli Sima, city councillor for mobility and digitalisation. “Smart transportation management helps to improve the traffic conditions and thus the CO2 balance. We are now launching a pioneer project with its first application, the Grüne Welle Wien app. It can already save up to 15% of emissions, as well as make the lives of the Vienna bicyclists a lot easier.”

Kapsch TrafficCom is implementing measures for future-oriented transportation guidance. These range from networked traffic lights that prevent congestion and switch to green for approaching streetcars, to an intelligent navigation system that anticipates critical traffic situations in real time, helps to circumvent traffic jams proactively and protects sensitive areas such as schools, thus ensuring greater safety on school routes.

Long term, the aim is for Traffic Management 2.0 functions to be available directly in vehicles, too. That way, Vienna will be well prepared for coming innovations such as autonomous driving.

“What sounds a bit like science fiction today could be quite commonplace in the foreseeable future when all of this is made possible by the networked and intelligent traffic systems that we are now bringing to live in Vienna,” said Steve Parsons, sales director at Kapsch TrafficCom. “Vienna is becoming one of the leading cities in Europe when it comes to mobility. With Grüne Welle Wien, traffic signals in the city will communicate intelligently with road users. In order to avoid congestion, the next step will be to flexibly control the green phases at the traffic lights depending on the actual traffic volume. Stress and environmental pollution can thus be drastically reduced.”

Kapsch TrafficCom provides transportation technology for sustainable mobility. Innovations in tolling, tolling services, traffic management and demand management can contribute to a healthy world without congestion.

Kapsch has brought projects to fruition in more than 50 countries. As part of the Kapsch Group and headquartered in Vienna, it has subsidiaries and branches in more than 25 countries. In its 2020-21 financial year, around 4660 employees generated revenues of about €500m.