Traffic Tower

With the establishment of the Traffic Tower, the DLR develops a virtual traffic management centre. Whether traffic monitoring at big events or the evaluation of traffic control algorithms - the Traffic Tower supports the institute’s research efforts with virtual reproduction and simulation of road traffic control systems.

Equipment and Application

The Traffic Tower is equipped with systems and features for traffic simulation, estimation of traffic demand and display of traffic situations. The simulation software SUMO displays road traffic virtually and includes traffic demand as well as traffic control infrastructure. Real traffic situations are modelled in the simulation considering motorways and urban roads. By use of this technology the quality of control measures can be evaluated objectively and new methods of data fusion can be tested.

During online operation, actual measured values of real sensors can be integrated, enabling a prognosis of the monitored traffic. By modification of traffic demand, road infrastructure or control measures the traffic situations can be analysed according to different scenarios. Appropriate measures can then be optimised.

In order to set up and parameterise a simulation for a certain region, the Traffic Tower offers different methods and systems. A basic demand of a certain region can be calculated from a Germany-wide traffic demand matrix in combination with local matrices or traffic counts. Traffic assignment models will help creating trip lists from the given matrices which are being processed by the simulation as initial data. Algorithms for data fusion adapt the pre-calculated routes in the simulation according to actual measured values. This results in an areawide reproduction of the current traffic situation in the investigated a region.

Municipal as well as federal traffic centres can be linked with the Traffic Tower which can support them in their decisions by providing traffic simulations. Different hard- and software systems supporting connections to different systems e.g. corresponding to the standard of the federal basic software for traffic control centres (“Datenverteiler”).

The Traffic Tower has been designed like actual traffic- and other control centres with a wide screen, operator workstations and computer and server infrastructure.


During the next steps the Traffic Tower will be expanded with systems mostly from the field of traffic control. Actually systems for the use during disasters and major events are being developed and made available. The focus is on decision support for traffic authorities and emergency forces. It is the aim to optimise traffic management during and after crises by the use of the developed applications.

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