Research group "Digital roads"

Digitalization of road traffic is a worldwide mega trend driven by new technological developments and business models. Highly automated and networked driving has become the focus of research and development in industry and science. In the near future, a major impulse, facilitating "digital roads", can be generated if economic and cost-effective sensor technologies are connected to intelligent sensor networks, recording traffic parameters and environmental data of streets and engineering structures.

Objectives and project participants

The research group "Digital roads" connects three affinity areas, (i) traffic (intelligent transport systems), (ii) computing in civil engineering (digitization) and (iii) construction (maintenance management). Specifically, the question is to be answered about how sensor networks in the field of streets and bridges can be configured. Hence, requirements of traffic, environment, and construction management will be identified, and for different scenarios the optimal sensor configurations will be determined and assessed. Optimization criteria, among others, are energy efficiency and data quality (accuracy, integrity). New modeling and simulation methods, transferred to the heterogeneous and multi-disciplinary problem "digital roads" will be developed and validated. Furthermore, the contribution of data for traffic applications, including the impact on environment and economy, will be quantified and calibrated with real-world data. The research group is composed of three chairs, the Chair of Transport System Planning (Professor Dr. Uwe Plank-Wiedenbeck, coordinator), the Chair of Computing in Civil Engineering (Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly) and the Chair of Steel Construction (Professor Dr. Matthias Kraus). The transfer process in the Thuringian industry is supported by an industry advisory board.

Modeling and simulation

In this research project, the Chair of Computing in Civil Engineering is responsible for modeling and simulation of intelligent sensor-based transport infrastructure. The methodological foundation and tools are developed to design optimal sensor configurations for digital roads, taking into account requirements and restrictions provided by the project partners. As a result, data volume, sampling rates, data transmission characteristics, and data integrity are reliably determined. Finally, grouping the competencies of the project partners enables developing of modeling and simulation approaches for digital roads in a way that multidisciplinary demands as well as future mobility and road infrastructure issues are solved.

Makati intersection
Solar power street lights

Funding source
The research group "Digital roads" is funded by the European Union through the European Social Funds (ESF).

2018 - 2020

694,572.40 €

Project-related publications

  • Mirboland, M. & Smarsly, K., 2018. Semantic modeling of road intelligent transportation systems. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on Positioning and Navigation for Intelligent Transportation Systems 2018 (POSNAV 2018). Berlin, Germany, 11/15/2018.
  • Mirboland, M. & Smarsly, K., 2019. A semantic model of intelligent transportation systems. In: The 26th International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering (EG-ICE). Löwen, Belgien, 30.06.2019.
  • Mirboland, M., 2019. Describing road intelligent transportation systems using building information modeling. In: 31. Forum Bauinformatik. Berlin, 11.09.2019.

Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 13 b, Room 004
99423 Weimar
Email: kay.smarsly[at]

Mahsa Mirboland, M.Sc.
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 13 a, Room 005
99423 Weimar
Email: mahsa.mirboland[at]

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