In September 2022, we asked Dr Eleni Mantouka – Civil & Transportation Engineer and Senior Researcher at the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens – to tell us more about the Athens virtual case study.
What are the goals of the Athens virtual pilot in TANGENT?
Athens has a very old road network which is often very congested. In order to relief congestion and mitigate air pollution, the priority for the city is to push for public transport use, render space for pedestrians and promote green mobility. Therefore, we expect that the TANGENT solutions will help to reduce congestion in the city and improve air quality. Giving light to the same performance indicators within TANGENT, we expect to study the impacts of introducing new mobility services, such as connected and automated vehicles.
In TANGENT, Athens has a specific status: it is a virtual case study. What exactly is a virtual case study? Do you work with the municipality of Athens?
A virtual case study refers to a simulation-based representation of the road network with all its specifications together with its supply and demand for movement in the city. The main advantage of the virtual study, which incorporates a very well calibrated microscopic model for the city of Athens, is that it gives the opportunity to test several scenarios including the introduction of new mobility services, the effect of several types of incidents, as well as the impact of new traffic management strategies. Having this very powerful tool, we are able to estimate specific KPIs based on which we can evaluate the different solutions for the city.
NTUA as a university is very interested in the research perspective of how the Athens transport network may evolve in the future and, within this context, several research projects have been formed with the cooperation of both the Municipality of Athens and the Region of Attica.
How do you work with the other TANGENT cities?
The TANGENT consortium has established great collaborations between the partners for the development of TANGENT services, where the cities’ priorities have been identified and described in detail. However, at the moment, we do not work directly with the other cities. We expect that as the project evolves the rest of the cities may take advantage of our test bed to get some insights on future mobility solutions that cannot be tested in other cities’ real pilots, like for example connected and automated vehicles.