September 17, 2012 -- The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) successfully managed the flow of traffic throughout this summer’s big event with the help of PIE Mapping Technology.
LOCOG, which is responsible for preparing and staging the London 2012 Games, enlisted the company’s help to form an effective strategy for managing the journey routing of around 20,000 ‘Games Family’ members which include; athletes, VIPs’, technical & team officials and over 21,000 media and broadcasters.
Mark Bland, Head of Traffic Management and Parking at LOCOG says: “With a huge influx in visitors to the capital this summer, keeping London moving while ensuring that athletes, umpires, technical staff, broadcasters and other people associated with the games are able to get to their destinations expediently is a monumental task and an absolute priority for us. As a consequence, we have a mandate to provide those people with a system which would allow them to plan journeys throughout the duration of the games.”
Using the official Olympic and Paralympic Route Networks (ORN/PRN) – a network of roads linking all key competition venues and sites – PIE came up with a solution to ensure the Games Family would be able to plan accurate and reliable routes across the host city throughout the Olympics.
The Games Family Journey Planner is a solution developed by PIE used throughout the duration of the games for all Games Family journeys that ensure correct route by specific days and accurate journey time calculation based on leave time or arrive time. Routes would change subject to time of day due to different Road Events effecting certain turn restrictions.
“We were made aware of PIE through our close relationship with Transport for London (TfL) which uses the company to provide the Freight Journey Planner,” says Bland.
Freight Journey Planner is a free web-based tool used by businesses to generate personalized routes for a specified time, date and size of vehicle when making journeys throughout London.
“We needed a similar solution which would be specifically tailored around the ORN and PRN and could be accessed on demand by the whole Games Family members.”
The new journey planner provides users with an easy way to generate routes to and from Olympic destinations and postcodes such as stadiums and hotels while providing accurate arrival times.
The service is fed by a regular stream of information provided to PIE by TfL meaning routes are provided based on current road and traffic conditions within the designated road networks.
Arrival times are calculated using comprehensive historical data but are bolstered by daily information provided by live speed monitoring throughout the ORN and PRN roads during the games.
“All road data is processed into a special routing algorithm which means if there are delays on the roads, the Games Family Journey Planner may recommend an alternative route,” says Freddie Talberg, CEO, PIE. “While the technology which sits at the backend of this bespoke solution for LOCOG is complex, it’s incredibly simple to use. All the user needs to do is enter their login information and then provide a start and their destination locations within the Olympic or Paralympic network – the system does the rest, providing an appropriate route which can also saved as a pdf for quick reference.”
LOCOG have been overwhelmed by the development of the new Games Family Journey Planner:
“PIE were able to create this bespoke system for us under tight timeframes and the result has been ideal,” adds Mark.
The technology continues to be in use today with the TfL Freight Journey Planner (http://freightplanner.tfl.gov.uk) and the processing of local and dynamically changing data.
One of the key strategies driven by PIE and TFL is the distribution of essential data across the industry to enable drivers and businesses make better decisions on their journeys in terms of; best start time, the appropriate routing by vehicle type and at the final destination to have information on the legal places to stop.
As such during the Games, PIE launched the PIE Data Exchange ( http://www.piedataexchange.com/about/how-it-works/) where operators can connect and use the data in any format within their own systems and tools. The legacy is exciting with new events such as; Notting Hill Carnival, Regent’s Street Festival, London Triathlon and loads more temporary restrictions and dynamic restrictions all being included. This enables businesses to route through London effectively, while minimising delay and getting caught up traffic without having to know what event is happening in London and which roads are likely to be effected. With Sport now becoming so popular across the UK, the number of street events that will restrict road movements is expected to rocket.
For more information on PIE visit our website (www. piemapping.com) or meet us directly at the London Mapping Festival 6th December 2012