Are digital twins the future of urban planning?

Researchers at Oak Ridge and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnered with Chattanooga to build a digital twin that helps anticipate and alleviate traffic congestion. Sanyal is the technical and strategic lead on the project.

Information from 500 different sources, such as traffic cameras, 911 data, radar detectors and weather stations, feeds into Chattanooga’s digital twin. Traffic congestion experiments done within this virtual realm have shown an improvement of up to 30% in traffic flow, resulting in greater energy efficiency, Sanyal said.

Researchers use the findings from these digital twin experiments to enact changes in the real world…

Chattanooga has one of the country’s busiest freight corridors, so the digital twin also allows for longer-term decisions. For example, the city wanted to know, are there certain times of day when it makes sense for drivers to use the shoulder as a travel lane?