Cooperative mobility or traffic management means controlling traffic volumes, traffic distribution, choice of modes of transport and traffic flows using instruments that provide information, recommendations and guidance.
The toolbox includes:
- regulatory policy (e.g. traffic laws, road signs, road classification, traffic calming, pedestrian zones),
- economic measures (e.g. paid parking, road pricing),
- traffic engineering (e.g. controlling light signals, variable-message signs, parking guidance systems, traffic management technology)
- and IT measures (optical and acoustic, stationary and mobile, collective and individual).
To reduce barriers to changeover between different systems of transport and facilitate intermodal transport chains, there must be an optimal design of transfer points between different modes of public transport (interregional and local, bus and train) and intermodal systems (Bike+Ride, Park+Ride) as well as of IT networks, for instance by making it easy for passengers to find connections between different modes of transport (e.g. at home, on the go, at work, on the train).
Three continuously repeated steps are necessary for successful cooperative traffic management:
- collecting data on the current traffic situation,
- processing and communicating this data,
- and strategies for handling disruptions, i.e. recommendations for and interventions in the current traffic situation.
In traffic control and data centres, incoming data is analysed – usually automatically – and then, for instance, control signals are sent to traffic signs or light signal systems based on predetermined programmes and switching instructions.
The cooperative traffic management system should make use of all available means for the dissemination of information: electronic timetable information, information terminals, call centres, radio, television, internet, mobile phones (SMS and UMTS), smartphones, large display boards (on access roads) and navigation systems in road vehicles.