Via Trafik uses Telia Crowd Insights to predict traffic flows of the future
Since last year, Via Trafik, has been using movement data from Telia Crowd Insights to understand how and when people travel from point A to B. The Danish traffic planning consultancy predicts future traffic volumes to support urban planning as well as transport and infrastructure developments.
“Telia’s data can be used to provide insights into the movements of the entire population. This makes it very interesting for us and our customers,” says Morten Stenberg, traffic planner and head of marketing at Via Trafik, which was founded in 2000.
Via Trafik consultants provide traffic-planning services to clients in the public sector, such as national, municipal and regional authorities, and private-sector transport operators and property developers. Projects range from major infrastructure developments, including road networks, urbanization and public transport planning. While mostly taking on projects in Denmark, Via Trafik also delivers services to the Nordic and international markets.
Access to data is key
Traffic planning has changed quite considerably in recent years, not least due to a wide array of new types of data that supports traffic modeling and forecasting.
“We use a lot of different data,” explains Stenberg. “In order to build large-scale transport models, we need information from traffic surveys and on how people make decisions in different situations.”
Last year, Via Trafik started using mobile network data from Telia Crowd Insights.
“Telia’s data tells us where a journey begins and where it ends, and we use this to understand the movement of people from point A to B,” says Stenberg, who hopes that the arrival 5G will eventually make it possible to get even more granular when it comes to people’s movement patterns.
Telia own and operate the largest digital infrastructure in the Nordics and Baltics. This is what generates the data for Telia Crowd Insights. Mobile phones constantly generate movement data when a device connects with a mast. This generates up to 200-400 network events per user and day.
Based on local market share, the data is then extrapolated for the full population. This provides accurate, measurement-based data and meaningful, location-specific insights.
Stenberg points out that this makes Telia’s data more valuable both to Via Trafik and Via Trafik’s customers.
“Telia’s data can represent the full population,” he says. “This not only gives us confidence in the numbers, but our customers also trust our product since they know we’re using many different data types to verify our predictions.”
Data for transport planning
Earlier this year, Via Trafik collaborated with a Danish local authority on a transport-planning project. It used data from Telia Crowd Insights to understand the movement of people from the suburbs to the surrounding major cities and, specifically, to see where those journeys began and ended.
“The local authority wants people to make visits in their spare time, so it’s up to them to make that journey as easy as possible,” Stenberg explains, adding: “The data from Telia allows us to see what the traffic needs are and, based on that, decide what needs to be done to facilitate that travel.”
In another project, Via Trafik worked with a transport company to calculate potential user volumes for a future bus route. By measuring the number of people currently moving along the same path, Via Trafik could estimate the number of people who would potentially be interested in using the new bus route.
So, why is data so useful?
For a traffic-planning specialist like Via Trafik’s Morten Stenberg, Telia Crowd Insights provide a highly representative form of data that is not available from other companies.
“All kinds of people from all walks of life use cellphones,” he says. “Unlike, say, GPS signals from different car makers that typically target people from a certain socio-economic background, the beauty of cellphone data is that it provides a fairly representative insight into an entire population.”
Learn more about Crowd Insights