The PHOEBE consortium is a diverse group of actors with experts from different backgrounds. Thus, not everybody has an extensive knowledge about transport modelling and its related tools – a cornerstone of the PHOEBE project. As the main providers of the these tools, Aimsun and iRAP provided workshops in April to get everyone on a same level of understanding. The forum provided great opportunities to ask questions and engage with the technical experts. This took place over two separate internal online workshops in April, which led to the decision to give other PHOEBE partners the chance to present their plans throughout the project.
Aimsun session on the ‘Aimsun Next’ tool
The Aimsun session highlighted the products of the Spanish software provider, which includes the ‘Aimsun Next’ to evaluate the safety improvements of the different actions taken at the PHOEBE use cases sites: Athens, and Valencia and West Midlands.
The main focus of the session was to familiarise the partners with the limits and opportunities of the microscopic simulation environment. Furthermore, the expected development costs for the PHOEBE framework were highlighted. Just to give an example, it was explained how would be possible to modify the default car following model, what would be the expected effort to do so. This included the integration effort, the re-calibration of the model and the expected simulation running time increase.
This is to kick start the PHOEBE activities coming later in the year, which among others will include the integration of new models related to traffic safety, like behavioral model, safety forecasting methods or demand shift towards safer modes into Aimsun Next, coming from many different partners.
iRAP session on protocols
The session provided an introduction to the International Road Assessment Programme’s (iRAP) protocols and how they work. It provided the PHOEBE technical partners with a good understand of the building blocks of the iRAP Star Rating, Fatality Estimation and Safer Roads Investment Plan protocols.
Starting with an overview of the process and how it is applied across road networks, before zooming into the detail of how the crash types are constructed for each of the road user groups and the basis of their associated risk factors. This was then followed by demonstrating how the crash types build up to provide a measure of the risk across a road network.
The session helped to explore the mechanisms by which the iRAP protocols can interface and be combined with the other approaches that will be used within the PHOEBE project. The workshop was concluded with the provision of a practical demonstration of ViDA – the iRAP’s free-to-air online platform for processing and analysing – to offer real world examples of how iRAP protocols are used.
Overall, the project coordinator and POLIS Network as the dissemination partner agreed that such internal communication was fruitful and can be as important as external dissemination.