Feature bowl PTV xServer – Part 2

Dear all,

PTV would like to present part 2 (read part 1, posted on18.09.2013) of the current features of the recently released PTV xServer 1.17. Please, take a couple of minutes in order to get an short overview. Do you have some questions? Please contact your dedicated sales partner.

Feature Layer

A new technology was designed and developed for the use of specific data content in the context of route planning. The following requirements have been considered:

  1. Integrate easily new data content into various layers and use multiple layers. Unique Profile Mechanism is used.
  2. Configure the layers flexible and be able to prioritize the layers in any conflicts.
  3. Handle mass data in a performant way.
  4. These data might influence the route calculation

For this reason, PTV provides “preferred routes“, “time zones” and “speed patterns” as new layer types for the PTV North America and PTV Australian City Map (more feature layers and data content for PTV Europe City Map will follow in future versions). Please use the PTV Code Sample Browser to get familiar with the latest features.

Example “preferred routes”: Different routes will be automatically calculated by toggling the button “Apply selected Feature Layer” (using preferred or standard route) after pressing the button “Example routing”.

Example “speed patterns”: Select this value and toggle again. Alternative routes will be automatically calculated according to the constraints.

Speed Patterns


Even though the French ecotaxe is postponed to 01.01.2014, PTV is prepared to offer the official percentage which can be passed onto your customer. The figure below shows the districts and the corresponding percentages.


The affected network is also documented according to the French decree. Further meaningful information are provided via Ecomouv.

Driver regulations

The complete driver regulations (also known as driving time and rest rules) are selectable according to the EU and German Standards to calculate a tour using the PTV xRoute Server. The same class concept was realized which was already implemented in the PTV xTour Server:

Class concept for PTV xRoute Server

High Performance Routing

The distance matrix can be calculated 1,000 times faster or more (depending on the dimension of the matrix) using High Performance Routing within the PTV xDima Server. This approach uses “Contraction Hierarchies” as a modern algorithm which benefits from pre-calculated graphs represented by the so called “shortcuts” (see figure below). But in contrast to the classical “Dijkstra” algorithm which is still in use for flexible route calculations such as dynamic routings, the functionality High Performance Routing is confronted with following constraints:

  • A pre-calculated routing network is obligatory for each map, for each routing profile and for each generated road editor layer. PTV provides a tool in order to create your own high performance routing network.
  • High Performance Routing is only available for the 64-bit Windows operating system. PTV recommends 16 GB RAM as minimum to generate the networks. Furthermore, around 100 GB hard disk space is also necessary for virtual RAM (depending on the map size and storage medium).

High Performance Routing     Dijkstra network

Product incompatibilities

This feature is used to detect incompatibilities between goods using the PTV xTour Server on following requirements:

  1. Different products not on the same tour at the same time.
  2. Different products not on the same tour at all.

Which scenarios are typical for product incompatibilities?
Sample 1: Temperature ⇒ e.g. chilled goods with tobaco plants.
Sample 2: Smell ⇒ e.g. nourishment with clothing

A new parameter “productId” is defined for transport orders to distinguish between products. A list of incompatibilities can be added in the object “Planning Parameter” which contains the pairs of incompatibilities. This gives you the opportunity to specify the necessary rules to avoid conflicts.Product incompatibilities

Overnight tours

A new construction method “plan overnight tours” is added to the PTV xTour Server. The benefit of this function is simply to automate the process to make a decision via the planing tool whether a overnight is meaningful or not. Returning home is calculated on basis of costs per overnight stay and unscheduled orders. This is a typical scenario for field force employees. Please notice that only a single vehicle can be selected for overnight tour plannings. The next figure shows the calculated location for an overnight.

Planning overnight tours

According to the API following attributes have to be considered:

  • The maximum number of permitted overnight stays. The range is between 0 and 6, hence one week planning is feasible.
  • The additional costs to consider potential overnight locations.
  • Define the (boolean) array on which days an overnight is permitted. This pattern specifies valid overnight stays between operating intervals. In other words, each array field represents a gap between two operating intervals.

Minimum population

This feature was added to the PTV xLocate Server. By using the parameter “minimum population“, it is possible to execute an approximate location search in order to find the nearest towns in dependency of the specified population. This is very meaningful in typical rural areas where mostly villages dominate the landscape. But the driver is interested to locate a bigger city from his current position. With the help of this additional attribute, it is quite simple to find the nearest town, to calculate the direction and distance from the current position and to create a tooltip to indicate the necessary information. Please notice that this parameter has to be defined in the profile “native-reverse.xml“. PTV is going to extend the parameter for requests in the upcoming major version.

Neares town searchMinmimum population

Leaflet Plugin

Leaflet is an open-source JavaScript library for interactive maps especially for the use of web-based and mobile applications. The advantages are obvious: fully support of browsers on mobile phones, a huge set of features for map interactions, a map control added as default, different selection of map layers and some more functionalities. Due to the open-source community, the development is growing fast and is getting a standard for mobile applications. Therefore, PTV provides a set of code samples which contain the Leaflet library. The next images illustrate how to use PTV maps or other map provider (e.g. OSM) on a client-side web application:

PTV mapOSM map

Interested to download the current PTV xServer? Please visit the PTV Customer Area (login is required). Any feedback from your side is welcome.

Kind regards from Karlsruhe,

Dr. Michael Nutto


Product Manager PTV xServer

By Dr. Michael Nutto

Solution Director for PTV xServer. Responsible for the strategy of PTV xServer. I'd like to discuss market trends and requirements with our partners and end customers. Therefore, feel free to contact me about my published blogs.