A doctoral thesis on estimating travel time by motorway wins the 8th abertis Prize

May 18, 2011 | Abertis Foundation

The paper “Highway travel time estimation with data fusion” by Francesc Soriguera Martí is the winning piece of research in the Doctoral Thesis category of the 8th abertis Prize for research into transport infrastructure management, awarded every year by the UPC-abertis chair.

Francesc Soriguera received the prize, worth 10,000 euros and publication of the work, today at an event presided over by the rector of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Antoni Giró, and held at the Barcelona school of civil engineering. Also in attendance were the Catalan minister for the regions and sustainability, Lluís Recoder, the managing director of abertis, Francisco Reynés, and the director of the abertis chair, Francesc Robusté.

The winning thesis presents a simple, innovative methodology to predict motorway travel time, based on the fusion of data from traffic detectors and that from toll tickets. The application of this methodology on the AP-7 motorway between Sant Celoni and La Roca del Vallès proves empirically that it is possible to develop an accurate real-time information system about estimated motorway travel time. This is therefore a possible added value service for motorway concession operators involving hardly any additional investment in technology. The quality and originality of the research is demonstrated by six articles in top international journals.

Second prize in the Doctoral Thesis category went to the research piece on “Contributions to the optimization of aircraft noise abatement procedures” by Xavier Prats Menéndez. This research proposes a methodology to manage increasing air traffic by optimising flight procedures from the point of view of acoustic impact. The system has already been applied at Girona airport.

In the dissertation, final bachelor’s or master’s degree project, course project or article category, with a prize of 4,000 euros and publication of the research, the winning piece was Robustez en logística: Transporte ferroviario de pasajeros (“Robustness in Logistics: Passenger Rail Transport”) by Luis Cadarso Morga. His research proposes solutions to avoid delays to trains running at high frequencies over relatively short distances and with a large number of stops, a system typical of the regional network. The results of the model have been received positively by planners at Renfe, the Spanish rail network.

First international competition

From 2012 onwards, the winner of the 9th abertis prize in the Doctoral Thesis category, organised by the UPC-abertis chair, will be competing with the winner of the equivalent organised by abertis-ENPC-IFSTTAR chair in France.
On 27th January this year the abertis chair and the abertis foundation inaugurated the first chair in France, together with the École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) and the Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l’Aménagement et des Réseaux (IFSTTAR). Directed by Professor Simon Cohen, the activities of the abertis chair focus on training and research in the area of transport infrastructure management and are aimed at students, researchers, lecturers and professionals in the field.

The abertis Prize is a scheme organised by the UPC-abertis chair in transport infrastructure management and represents one of its main initiatives to foster research in this field. The purpose of the UPC-abertis chair, set up in 2003 by abertis and the UPC and directed by Professor Francesc Robusté, is to foster training and research in the sphere of transport infrastructure management.

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