According to this press release, vehicle traffic during the recent World Cup series in Germany was monitored from a Zeppelin, and simulations used to smooth traffic flow
“The fact that we had an up-to-date overview of free sections of road was amazingly effective,” says Chief Police Commissioner Peter Brunke, head of the Cologne polices traffic management group. The average flow of traffic to and from the Cologne stadium lasts two to three hours, but for the World Cup matches it was less than one hour.”
The monitoring system “…consists of the ANTAR camera system and analytical software called Traffic Finder. Together, these provide automatic, real-time extraction of traffic data. ANTAR includes a conventional camera and a thermal imaging camera, as well as an inertial measurement unit for online geo-referencing and a computer unit for the data management. The Traffic Finder software analyses incoming images online – that means identifying cars, classifying by the shape and measuring its velocity – and defines road-based traffic parameters….”
The monitoring system was designed by DLR and Ertico, and mounted on “three different airborne platforms: a Cessna 172 aircraft (Berlin), MD 900 police helicopter (Stuttgart), and a Zeppelin NT airship (Cologne). ”
The release adds: “Different ways of representing and predicting the traffic situation were also trialled, depending on the size of the region being covered and its ground layout. For example, a different kind of simulation was produced for the relatively homogeneous urban area of Berlin than for the Greater Stuttgart area, which has many outlying communities and therefore a much more heterogeneous structure. While the simulation in Berlin incorporated the results of a survey conducted before the event – such as regarding the locations where matches were going to be watched – the simulation in Stuttgart was more heavily based on actual empirical data measured on the ground and information from taxis, using Floating Car Data.”
I mentioned earlier a similar system used in the Ruhr.