Traffic management software is essential for cities and road authorities that want to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and deal with incidents. However, with so many different solutions on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.
In this blog post, we will compare two of the leading traffic management software solutions: PTV Optima and PTV Flows. We will discuss the features, capabilities, pricing, and target audience of each solution to help you make the best decision for your needs.
What is PTV Optima?
PTV Optima is a comprehensive real-time mobility network management software for multimodal networks. It offers a wide range of features, including:
- Traffic forecasting: PTV Optima can forecast traffic conditions up to 60 minutes in advance. This helps operators to plan for and mitigate congestion, even before it happens. The forecast is based on a combination of traffic simulation and machine learning algorithms.
- Traffic simulation: PTV Optima can simulate traffic on a microscopic or macroscopic level. This helps operators to understand how different traffic management strategies will impact the network.
- Real-time traffic data: PTV Optima can collect real-time traffic data from sensors. This helps operators to make the correct decisions about traffic management, given the current real conditions.
- Scenario management: PTV Optima can help operators to pick the best solution to an occurring problem by calculating different scenarios.
- Dashboards: PTV Optima provides operators with dashboards that give them a visual overview of traffic conditions. This helps them to monitor the network and identify potential problems.
- Historical data: PTV Optima can extract recent historical data about traffic performance over time. This helps operators to measure the effectiveness of their traffic management strategies.
What is PTV Flows?
PTV Flows is a cost-effective and hassle-free solution for real-time traffic management. It is cloud-based and offers a range of features, including:
- Traffic visualization: PTV Flows visualizes traffic conditions on a map. This helps you to see where congestion is occurring and make informed decisions about traffic management.
- Traffic forecasting: PTV Flows can forecast traffic conditions up to 120 minutes in advance. This helps operators to plan for and mitigate congestion, even before it happens. The forecast is based on machine learning algorithms, and it is self-updating (self-learning).
- Corridor monitoring: PTV Flows allows you to monitor the performance of specific corridors. You can analyze what is happening and what has recently happened thanks to visual alert thresholds and meaningful charts.
- Automatic email alerts: PTV Flows can automatically send alerts by email when certain critical conditions are met on the corridors. This helps traffic operators to stay informed about traffic conditions, even when they are busy with other tasks. They can then take action as needed.
- Pre-canned tweets: PTV Flows can automatically compose and suggest the publication of tweets when certain critical conditions happen. This helps traffic operators to update the public quickly and allow people to react (e.g., allow them to choose an alternative route).
- Reporting: PTV Flows can generate reports about traffic performance over time. This helps operators to measure the effectiveness of their traffic management strategies, to report the achieved level of services, and to plan changes based on what happened.
What are the differences between the two?
Both software help cities and road authorities manage traffic operations, but they differ in scope and capabilities. Here are the main differences between PTV Optima and PTV Flows:
PTV Optima is a good choice for large cities and road authorities that need a comprehensive traffic management solution with a wide range of features. On the other hand, PTV Flows is more suitable for cities and road authorities looking for a ready-to-use and effective solution, as it requires reduced personnel, hardware infrastructure, and deployment time, with a focus on real-time traffic management.
PTV Optima provides a comprehensive solution for both long-term and short-term traffic management and scenario analysis. Conversely, PTV Flows is primarily used for short-term traffic management.
PTV Optima excels in multimodal traffic management, including public transport, such as buses, trams, and shared modes of mobility. In contrast, PTV Flows focuses on managing private vehicle traffic.
Operating PTV Optima involves multiple qualified personnel and typically requires round-the-clock operations. On the other hand, PTV Flows can be operated by as few as one person, without the need for extensive training.
Set-up and infrastructure
Setting up PTV Optima may take a few weeks, as data-gathering infrastructure needs to be installed, and various data sources must be integrated. Consequently, the model-based forecast is ready within months. In contrast, PTV Flows can be deployed within hours, and its forecast becomes accurate within one month from activation. It does not require new infrastructure setup because all necessary data comes from floating car data already included in PTV Flows.
PTV Flows comes with readily available FCD data, while PTV Optima allows users to send data from local detectors and provides the option to plug in FCD data from major providers.
What about pricing?
Each city or road authority has different needs when it comes to traffic management software.
PTV Optima is priced on a per-user basis, with discounts available for larger deployments. On the other hand, PTV Flows follows a monthly subscription model, with different pricing tiers based on the number of kilometers, users, and required features.
For both software, PTV Group offers several plans that vary according to the size and needs of the customer. PTV Group’s experts are available to advise customers on the right plan for them.
PTV Optima and PTV Flows are both powerful traffic management software solutions. The best solution for you will depend on your specific needs and resources.
In general, PTV Optima is well-suited for large cities and road authorities with the resources to manage traffic round-the-clock and the necessary staff to analyze incidents and scenarios effectively.
On the other hand, PTV Flows is an ideal choice for entities looking to optimize budget, deployment time, and staff requirements. It requires fewer operators and IT staff and is relatively easy to learn and use, even for users with no prior experience in traffic management software. Moreover, its capability to be deployed quickly and effortlessly without the need for additional professional services or data makes it suitable for projects where time and resource constraints are significant factors.