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Updated Guidance on Traffic Studies & Analysis

by Australian Road Research Board on November 20, 2017
Earlier this month, Austroads published the revised edition of the Guide to Traffic Management (GTM) Part 3: Traffic Studies. The Guide, as authored by ARRB's resident network operations experts, is also one of the most frequently downloaded guides in the GTM series.

According to Austroads, the guide is concerned with the collection and analysis of traffic data for the purpose of managing and controlling traffic within a network. It serves as a means to ensure some degree of consistency in conducting traffic studies and surveys, providing guidance on the different types of traffic studies and surveys, their use, application, as well as methods for traffic data collection and analysis.


Dr Clarissa Han, a Principle Research Scientist with ARRB and the primary author of the guide had this to say:

'The focus of the changes in this edition was amending the new and alternative data sources and modelling guidelines. There is a huge quantity of unexploited and unintegrated transport data, which will continue to grow with the evolution of new detection and vehicle technologies.  This revision provides practitioners with current status, supporting techniques, benefits and issues as well as many use cases of the fast-developed,  alternative data sources. It also supports new data collection techniques and innovative methodologies for traffic studies and analysis'.

This edition also filled the gaps in sections relating to modelling guidelines. It incorporates the traffic modelling best practice including types of models, data requirements, principles relating to calibration, validation, model choice and interpretation of model outputs. It gives practitioners a thorough overview of modelling approaches without overlapping with jurisdictional guidelines.

'The new revelations will impact the way we’ve been conducting traffic studies and surveys in many areas. For example, traditional methods of traffic data collection are often limited by high costs, infrequent updates or limited sample sizes. Many emerging technologies, such as GPS probes, mobile phone tracking, Bluetooth, e-tickets etc now enable easier acquisition of long-term continuous traffic data (high resolution and frequent intervals) with little to no interaction with subjects. As a result, it would reform the way of road network monitoring and management, and improve the situational awareness of both road managers and road users' Dr Han also said.

For further information please click here


Following the release of the guidance, Austroads have scheduled a Q&A style webinar with the author. The webinar will cover:

  • use cases, impact and some supporting techniques for the use of emerging data sources
  • discussion and development of high-level modelling guidelines
  • latest research and initiative in the traffic capacity analysis area


The webinar will take place on Thursday, 30 November 2017 at 1:00 PM AEDT

Registration is free of charge. Click here to register


Topics: Research