Umovity: Revolutionising mobility through innovative technologies

United under the brand Umovity, PTV Group and Econolite join forces and introduce their new combined Mobility Tech Suite. The companies’ CEO Christian U. Haas explains the details
Classification & Data Collection / December 1, 2023
Christian U. Haas PTV Econolite data  (image: Umovity)
Christian U. Haas: 'Technology plays a crucial role in simplifying the complexity of mobility' (image: Umovity)

At the onset of this year, the dynamic mobility tech companies PTV Group and Econolite unveiled their new joint umbrella brand Umovity. “The past year has been incredibly exciting for all of us”, says Christian U. Haas, CEO of both companies. Reflecting on the past months he shared insights with ITS International about Umovity's goals, potentials, initial product integrations, collaborative projects, and the recent launch of the Mobility Tech Suite.

Haas sees the recent journey as filled with exciting opportunities. “Econolite is the leading provider of traffic management solutions in the US, while PTV's software solutions for traffic modelling, simulation and multimodal network management are recognised as global standards. The synergy between our solutions is abundant. By harnessing the strengths of both companies, we can offer a comprehensive approach to managing the entire mobility value chain, encompassing both software and hardware and benefiting from mutual data and technology enrichment. This positions Umovity as the leading one-stop-shop provider of end-to-end technology and services, dedicated to realising smart, safe, and sustainable transportation worldwide.”

Joint Mobility Tech Suite 

In the fall, PTV and Econolite introduced the inaugural combined Mobility Tech Suite under the Umovity brand. They highlighted new features and developments in a joint Tech Update on LinkedIn Live

Haas expresses his enthusiasm for this collaboration: “With our combined Mobility Tech Suite, our goal is to offer a holistic approach to orchestrating the mobility value chain. Users get access to our powerful expert products, including our market-leading modelling, simulation and traffic operations software; new lightweight and use-case sharp Software as a Service [SaaS] products, as well as cutting-edge cabinets, controllers, video and radar sensor technologies and most reliable field maintenance and professional services. We want to empower our customers to address a broad spectrum of needs, ranging from strategic mobility planning and traffic management to on-site traffic operations and optimisation, irrespective of the project's scale, scope or timeline.”

Examples of integration within the Mobility Tech Suite include streamlining traffic signal timing analysis and traffic impact studies through the combination of Econolite's Centracs and PTV's Vistro.

“Manual input of signal timing parameters is no longer necessary, ensuring the highest quality in traffic signal management,” explains Haas. 

Another example is the seamless integration of Econolite's EOS Controller with PTV Vissim, facilitating the replication of controller logic within traffic simulations. A further innovation on the way is the combination of Econolite’s software product Centracs Mobility with PTV's SaaS prediction and optimisation tool, PTV Flows.

“We are continuously working on enabling advanced prediction and control within the same operational environment. This continuous development underscores our commitment to providing comprehensive and cutting-edge solutions for our customers.”

With the new Mobility Tech Suite, PTV and Econolite aim to facilitate collaboration and connectivity. “The connectivity between our users and us, between our users and their project partners, and between our products. This leads to enriching combinations and endless possibilities.”

Joint forces lead to collaborative projects 

The emphasis on collaboration has already yielded concrete projects. PTV piloted its first piece of traffic detection hardware: Econolite's EVO RADAR sensor was installed and is now successfully used in South Gloucestershire, UK. 

“PTV has long been trusted to simulate traffic and people movement, our customers previously sourced traffic detection equipment externally. This project marks a significant milestone for Umovity as it was also the first deployment of an Econolite product in Europe. The data collected by the sensor can be seamlessly integrated into PTV modeling software, allowing for analysis and simulation of potential changes to enhance traffic flow. We received enthusiastic feedback from our customer, emphasising the added value and new possibilities.”

And Haas reveals that there will be more exciting projects with great potential in the near future.

Focus on innovation and SaaS tools 

Driven by customer needs and the potential in combining software, hardware, and services, Umovity places a strong focus on continuous innovation.

Notable among these innovations is Model2Go.With this AI-driven automation technology, PTV has achieved a major breakthrough in urban and mobility planning. It enables the creation of transport models for any city worldwide within just one week – compared to the manual process which could take several months. This not only saves time and money but makes model-based decisions also viable for small projects.

“I am firmly convinced that the future of transportation lies in such innovative technologies and the smart use of data. Both Econolite and PTV Group have long-standing foundations in advocating for the use of big data to transform mobility. Our modelling and prediction software has incorporated machine learning sources for years, and we continually advance these technologies, exploring new opportunities.”

For example, in reconstructing the geographical distribution of travel demand, or recognising the mode of transport with AI. 

In 2023, PTV has also placed a strong focus on the expansion of its SaaS portfolio, with several new product launches. 


"'More is better' is typically not the case in modelling. You want a model that represents precisely what you need, not more and not less"


“In addition to our renowned flagship expert products, such as PTV Visum and PTV Vissim, we are committed to offering lightweight tools that simplify the daily work of planners. Take for example, PTV Lines, an intuitive cloud tool designed to streamline the planning of public transport networks.”

The latest addition to the SaaS portfolio was PTV Flows, a data-driven tool for real-time traffic management. Using machine learning and state-of-the-art algorithms, it enables users to monitor and proactively manage traffic flows. 

“By identifying patterns and trends, the self-learning system visualises incidents in the road network and generates forecast unexpected congestion up to two hours in advance. We have designed it with cities and road authorities in mind that don’t have the time or the resources to set up and maintain an advanced traffic management infrastructure. No access to traffic management infrastructures or detectors is required.”

Mobility Software + Data as a Service 

"But we won't stop here," asserts Haas. He has more ambitions for 2024. 

"We are committed to enhancing the capabilities for our core customer segments, transport planners, and traffic engineers. In addition to our flagship products Visum and Vissim, we aim to introduce a suite of cloud-based functionalities. This hybrid desktop+cloud solution will empower our clients to construct a transport planning and traffic engineering ecosystem – an innovative Mobility Software + Data as a Service [MSDaaS] platform.”

This ecosystem will allow public authorities and consultants to seamlessly build, maintain, share and edit models collaboratively across their organisations. Leveraging the power of cloud computing, users will be able to test and maintain new transport and mobility scenarios without the need for substantial investments. Furthermore, it will be possible to effortlessly share and disseminate results through interactive dashboards, collecting feedback from internal and external stakeholders.


"Ensuring safety and accessibility and maintaining smooth and safe traffic flow for everyone is a significant undertaking"


Haas elaborates on the emphasis on "data" rather than "models" in this context. "When it comes to modelling for transport planning and traffic engineering, different questions, angles and stakeholders require diverse models with varying levels of detail and components. 'More is better' is typically not the case in modelling. You want a model that represents precisely what you need, not more and not less. This necessitates the creation and, most importantly, the ongoing maintenance of various models for different geographic areas. While some in the market may advocate for 'the one' centrally-managed model, we believe this approach lacks efficiency and effectiveness. We provide 'prefinished' models, but we believe our customers, whether public authorities or consultants, should manage, adjust, expand, simplify and update their models according to their specific needs and the answers they seek to provide. In conclusion, as mobility experts and software vendors, we take pride in empowering our customers to fulfill their transport planning and traffic engineering needs in the most effective and customer-centred manner possible.”

Improving mobility for humanity by technology

Apart from technological innovation, there is also a deeper purpose the Umovity union is driven by. In an insightful reflection, Haas underscores the profound impact of mobility on our lives. 

“I must admit that before I joined PTV Group four years ago, I didn’t realise the profound impact that mobility has on our lives as I do today. We often take it for granted, yet ensuring safety and accessibility and maintaining smooth and safe traffic flow for everyone is a significant undertaking. It needs a holistic view of all stakeholders involved and a seamless orchestration. With Umovity, we want to incorporate this holistic approach into our portfolio, combining the strengths of hardware, software and services to improve mobility for diverse use cases and needs.” 

Umovity's Mobility is a Human Ride campaign, running on social media, precisely emphasises this purpose. 

“Technology plays a crucial role in simplifying the complexity of mobility, turning it into efficiency and adapting it to the various needs of people worldwide. The shared mission of Umovity is to enhance mobility for humanity by delivering innovative technology. Our advanced software and hardware products are even more powerful in combination and contribute to minimising congestion, accidents, and pollution. And this is what motivates us at PTV and Econolite – united under Umovity - every day.”

Content produced in association with Umovity

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