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16-04-2018

In urban areas, an increasing number of travellers are turning to more sustainable means of transport such as walking and cycling. The ALLEGRO project studies pedestrians and cyclists’ behaviour in traffic, a field that offers many opportunities for ground-breaking knowledge.

In comparison with motorised vehicular modes of transport, walking and cycling have received little attention from researchers so far. Prof. Serge Hoogendoorn is focusing precisely on these so-called ‘slow’ modes of transport as the lack of understanding of their dynamics is becoming problematic in urban areas that experience more and more difficulties in dealing with large numbers of pedestrians, especially during events attracting large crowds.

The behaviours of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as their interactions with each other and with other modes of transportation, are much more complex and hard to predict than those of drivers, due to the high degree of freedom in their decision-making process. In fact, there are large behavioural differences between pedestrians and cyclists, on the one side, and motorists, on the other, as the former are less bound by traffic regulations.

Supported by the ERC, Prof. Hoogendoorn studies walking and cycling flows in order to establish a comprehensive theory of slow mode traffic and travel behaviour. His team uses innovative big data collection techniques, applied for example to the city of Amsterdam, including remote and crowd sensing, social media analytics, virtual and augmented reality. By combining data from these different sources, they are developing conceptual and mathematical models to explain and predict the dynamics of pedestrians and cyclists within an urban context. These models can be applied to a variety of circumstances and can facilitate new approaches in the management of crowds, the design of slow traffic infrastructure, and others areas. with the aim of improving safety, comfort and efficiency.

Professor Serge Hoogendoorn is the chair of the Transport & Planning department and he is currently one of the four Distinguished Professors of Smart Urban Mobility at Delft University of Technology (DUT), Netherlands. He is one of the leading international scholars in the transportation field. His current research evolves around Smart Urban Mobility.