Transport planning decisions in Austria and at the European Union level require valid, coherent and consistent data sources for freight transport. The current production process of the data uses primarily national and EU surveys on cargo road movements, merged with traffic counts, where available.
PARADIGMA was part of a national consortium (iMoVe) which has been awarded a contract by the Austrian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation to improve the quality of transport matrices as well as the efficiency of their production which are used to feed Austria's traffic model.
The tasks of transport policy and infrastructure planning at national level need reliable information on the complete road transport at the national territory. The data collected under the framework of the regulation 1172/98 are an important input, but there is a strong need for a combination with other data sources. Even if we use EUROSTAT's European Road Transport data, several issues remain:
- There is a clear evidence of underreporting, at different levels by different reporting countries.
- The sampling errors do not allow analysis at a the necessary geographic detail
- Even if in the past years several candidate countries and third countries have started to provide data to the regime According to regulation 1172/98 there remains a gap of traffic by countries non reporting.
- The information on transit movements provided is not comprehensive and thus not useful for planning purposes.
In Austria there are additional data sources available on road transport:
- Data derived from the electronic toll system of ASFINAG, the Austrian Motorway company. The data gives a complete picture of the transport of vehicles more than 3.5. tonnes on the motorways, vehicles are registered at the different toll gates, even the deduction of flow information – in the sense of the sequence of passed gateways is possible.
- On a five yearly base Austria is performing the “CAFT-Survey” (Cross Alpine Freight Transport), collecting data by road side interviews on the Alpine Crossing.
Our consortium has been tasked to reconcile these data sources with other, ancillary data sets. The specific goal of the project was the development and empirical tests of methods to harmonize different data sources, to develop an automated process provision of data on freight transport in Austria and a prototypical implementation to demonstrate its viability.