Back to normal: New interactive map of Italy shows the development of traffic after Covid-19 lockdown


Empty streets, hardly any congestion – the coronavirus lockdown of the last weeks had an obvious impact on traffic. But how did the mobility behavior change with the loosening of the restrictions? Is traffic already on the way back to normal? A new nation-wide interactive map of Italy shows how traffic volume is changing again. It was realized by the software company PTV Group based on mobility insights by Teralytics. This can give important clues and back-up decisions for the mobility of the future.

The interactive map of Italy – available online – clearly shows decision-makers and interested citizens the traffic development on the Italian road network. Users can compare the pre-Corona-traffic (from 18th of February), with the traffic volume in the lockdown phase (18th of March) as well as with the current traffic situation (9th of June).

The average traffic load during the Covid-19 lockdown was 70 % below “normal” traffic in mid-March. The biggest cities in the North of Italy were even down to 10% compared to the traffic before the crisis started.

However, the evaluation shows that traffic has now again largely increased: 82 % of the pre-Corona traffic has already recovered. In most rural areas and on most interurban roads, it is almost as high as it was before the lockdown. Only the roads near the borders are partly less frequented.

What is striking is that the centers of large cities such as Rome, Venice, and Milan, are still not very busy. There, the traffic volume is still around 50% or less which could have something to do with the fact that many people still work remotely or use their bicycle more often.

The visualization is a joint project of PTV Group and Teralytics. The Swiss company analyses aggregated and anonymized mobile signal data worldwide providing mobility insights to transportation planners and providers. The experts of PTV further process these flows of movements and visualize traffic on digital maps.

More than 2,500 cities already deploy PTV products. The software company is experienced in the processing of huge data amounts and combines information from different data sources, like mobile phone data from Teralytics, with intelligent algorithms. This allows the analysis of different modes of transport, from cars and trucks to public transport.

“Data-driven mobility visualizations are a strong tool in decision-making processes for future mobility and infrastructure measures. Authorities and traffic planners not only receive detailed and meaningful figures on traffic volumes and the impact on the road network. Our tools also help to test and evaluate different traffic-related issues in advance and thus plan ahead,” explains Frédéric Reutenauer, PTV Regional Managing Director for Southern Europe.