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Abley Apr 20247 min read

Understanding TomTom’s Traffic Analytics Products

TomTom Traffic Analytics benefits your organisation's safety, congestion, and marketing projects

Tom Tom Traffic Analytics tools boast a range of benefits for planners, engineers and analysts. Knowing where the data comes from and how to use it helps us get the most out of Tom Tom products. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is Tom Tom?
  • Where does the data come from?
  • How is the data used?
  • Various Traffic Analytics products?
  • How we can use them?
  • Where to find more information?

What is TomTom Traffic Analytics?

Increasing traffic congestion delays presents a serious challenge in today’s world.  Having reliable traffic information becomes vital for to better plan for and influence driver behaviour to reduce congestion and emissions. Launched in 2008, the TomTom Traffic database has trillions of data points, with over 60 billion new records being added every day. TomTom’s traffic portfolio is available in 80 countries and counting including New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

Where is the Traffic Analytics Data sourced from?

TomTom has been making real-time traffic information based on Floating Car Data (FCD) in New Zealand and Australia since 2012. Over the past 10 years, their systems have evolved, and the volume of input data has increased significantly. A quick overview of the data sources they use to produce traffic data include:

  • Probe data: The most important data stream is GPS data received from various vehicle fleets, including their own TomTom navigation,
  • TomTom also collects information about events, such as roadworks and road closures. They also collect data via their own tool, the Road Event Reporter, where certified users and TomTom moderators can submit events around accidents, closed roads, and planned roadworks.
  • Crowd-sourced data is collected through the TomTom AmiGO smartphone app.
  • Historical Speed Profiles contains information about the free flow speed and expected congestion at any time of the day in the week based on a 2-year rolling archive. This historical data is used to validate current data and fill gaps when no real-time data is available.
Auckland motorway

Auckland’s southern motorway

Data fusion

A data fusion process module receives all input data. Throughout the data fusion process, hundreds of validations and data fusion steps are repeated every 30 seconds. Below is a diagram showing how the fusion engine takes the various data sources and converts them into valuable products for your organisation. The image below explains the data fusion process.

A visual explanation of the data fusion process, from input data to TomTom products.

TomTom MOVE Portal for traffic analytics

TomTom’s Traffic Analytics Products are provided through their MOVE portal which provides a single environment to access the historical and real-time analytical tools. TomTom MOVE features five distinct traffic products, each with unique customer benefits, that leverage archived big data over the last several years. Results are delivered within minutes or within 24 hours depending on the size of the analysis. Once the report is ready the output is available for download or viewing in the portal.

The web portal provides a single access to TomTom’s mobility, traffic analytics, traffic management and geomarketing products. The five tools available from the portal are shown in the diagram below.

Tom Tom traffic analytics portfolio

The TomTom for Developers portal offers the TomTom MOVE traffic product functions via a suite of web services designed for developers to create web applications to utilise the historical and real-time traffic data.

Traffic stats (historical traffic)

TomTom Traffic Stats provides insights into the traffic situation on the road network throughout the day. Users can specify a customised query for their selected road network, days of interest and the time periods in that date range that need to be studied with most reports delivered in minutes. Once the report is ready the output is available for download, viewing in the portal or sharing with colleagues.

Within Traffic Stats, three types of analysis are made available:

  • Route Analysis: allow users to define a specific route and get average speed, average travel times and sample size (number of GPS probe points) for the entire and every segment of the route;
  • Area Analysis: provides average speeds, average travel times and sample size (number of GPS probe points) for every segment within the defined area;
  • Traffic Density: is a focused analysis on sample size (number of GPS probe points per segment), excluding all speed and travel time parameters, useful to determine the relative number of vehicles as compared to other segments.

Traffic stats helps to:

  • Measure the stability and reliability of travel times on a route
  • Determine congestion bottlenecks and their effects by analysing speed on road segments
  • Measure the travel time before and after a change in the road network to assess the impact
  • Detect the impact of seasonality, events, and incidents on traffic congestion or density
  • Provide actual driven ground truth speeds and travel time data for use in transportation models

Tom Tom Traffic Stats

Origin Destination Analysis (Historical Traffic)

TomTom Origin Destination (O/D) Analysis provides trip investigation based on a high volume of location data. O/D Analysis is available through the MOVE web portal (TomTom Move) or via APIs (TomTom for Developers). Both on the web portal or via the API, the O/D Matrix is delivered as a result with the absolute number of trips from each to every region. On the TomTom Move web portal, 4 additional methods can be visualized:

  • Map Flows: visualize the trip distribution for every pre-defined polygon of the coverage area;
  • Sankey Diagram: this option shows you the number of connections between different regions with connecting lines of different widths;
  • Spatial Sankey: recognize dense trip flows between regions;
  • Flow Explorer: which is like the Map Flow visualization, this view allows you to select more than one Origin, Via, and Destination.

Origin Destination – Selected Link Analysis NEW

Selected link analysis is a recent addition where users can analyse the inbound and outbound trips through a selected road segment. The analysis calculates the trip distribution of all trips on the consecutive road segments within 10 kilometres from the link selected by the user. Check out a sample report of Selected Link Analysis for Vauxhall Bridge in London.

Traffic Stats is helpful when:

  • Geomarketing projects: Examples include store location analysis, input to focused location advertisements, and for determining attractive billboard locations
  • Tourism studies: Access to information to help you understand popular points of interest and seasonal distribution
  • Urban planning: Examples include determining the most used routes, and studies of flow or tourism dynamics between popular points of interest
  • Smart city programs: Contributing as inputs for mobility studies

Route Monitoring (real-time traffic)

When large events, accidents, or other unplanned traffic stoppages occur, it’s important for road authorities, event managers, emergency services, and other trusted partners to be able to monitor the traffic situation on key routes. By providing users with information about current route travel times, delay times in comparison to free-flow traffic, and average data confidence level, the TomTom Route Monitoring service provides comprehensive traffic monitoring – making it easy for users to take proactive measures and improve mobility.

TomTom Route Monitoring benefits both drivers and road authorities, for example:

  • Traffic managers can monitor conditions with travel times, delay times, and flow data, and then broadcast analysis and proactive measures through variable-message sign (VMS) integration, mobile or web apps, TV, and radio
  • Drivers can be better informed and encounter less congestion, improving their driving experience

The image above shows an example of a monitored route and the traffic flow southbound along SH1 from Thorndon to Wellington International Airport at 10:37AM on Friday 15th July 2022. Note the significant drop in speed as vehicles approach The Terrace Tunnel and two lanes merge into one.

Road event reporter

Using road event reporter:

  • Road authorities can announce roadworks in time for drivers to find new routes and stop congestion from forming
  • Event organisers and road authorities announcing races, festivals, or street markets that might disrupt traffic
  • Fleet managers interested in minimizing delays to meet daily goals
  • Road authorities can can add critical information in real-time to enable the most optimal driving experience

How can I access the tools?

Here at abley, we’ve partnered with TomTom to facilitate the distribution of TomTom’s Traffic Analytics Products in New Zealand and Australia. The TomTom Traffic Analytics Product suite offers an easy-to-use and cost-effective approach to accessing historical and real-time traffic data. Get in touch with Jacob to discuss your requirements and set-up your trial access to the Traffic Analytics tools.