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Area Traffic Control System

Our Area Traffic Control (ATC) solution is built using our proven ITS products, the Traffic Intelligence Module (TIM) and the Traffic Intelligence Server (TIS). TIM and TIS have been extensively tested and successfully deployed at a number of locations around the world.  Our ATC can be operated in three modes to cater to a wide range of scenarios.

  • Connected signal mode: This mode enables traffic police personnel to manually control the timings of traffic signals using the ATC interface from the traffic control room. PTZ CCTV cameras should typically be installed at junctions to support the remote operation of signals in this mode.
  • Automatic plan switch mode: The system can be configured to automatically run the most appropriate signal timing plan from a library of plans. Signal timing plans can be defined in the library for a group of junctions with a common cycle time with synchronisation of signal timings between adjacent junctions. The system will automatically select the most appropriate plan for the prevalent traffic conditions based on a set of customisable rules. The system can obtain information about current traffic conditions using a number of different sensor types, including Inductive Loop Detectors, video based detectors, microwave detectors, RFID readers and ANPR cameras.
  • Adaptive mode: Signal timings for a group of junctions are optimised so as to reduce the overall delay incurred by vehicles or to maximise vehicle throughput. The system can run a number of different adaptive signal control algorithms depending on the type and availability of detectors. The algorithms range from full optimisation with traffic simulation models using data from advanced detectors to heuristic algorithms using cloud based travel time data with no on-ground detection. The adaptive algorithms have a strong basis in traffic engineering and/or Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Components of ATCS

The main components of the ATC solution are as follows:
  • Traffic detectors: The system can use data from three categories of detectors
    • Standard traffic detectors: Detectors such as Inductive Loop Detectors (ILD), magnetometers, video based detectors and microwave detectors
    • Advanced traffic detectors: Detectors such as video based vehicle counters and classifiers, 3D/4D radars and similar detectors that provide Vehicle-by-Vehicle (VBV) data
    • Travel time detectors: Detectors capable of providing travel time estimates such as RFID readers, ANPR cameras and Bluetooth/WiFi sensors
  • Traffic Intelligence Module (TIM): TIM is a compact programmable hardware platform (an Outstation Transmission Unit or OTU) designed for use with traffic signal controllers. TIM can interface with most traffic signal controllers available in the market and control the signal timings using algorithms running locally or remotely on the TIS server. The communication between TIM and TIS uses the industry standard UTMC/UG405 (UK standard) protocol. 
  • Traffic Intelligence Server (TIS): TIS is a server based traffic and management and control platform. TIS can read data from a wide variety of traffic sensors. TIS has a rule-engine that can be configured to automatically make traffic control intervention actions based on real-time traffic sensor data; e.g. change signal timing plans or display Variable Message Sign (VMS) text. In addition, TIS runs all the algorithms provided as a part of the ATCS solution. ATCS deployed on TIS can communicate with any UK standards compliant OTUs or traffic signal controllers using the UTMC/UG405 protocol. 

Solution advantages
  • Functionality
    • Remote operation of traffic signals in the Connected Signal mode increases response speed and reduces manpower requirement
    • Automatic plan switch mode results in signal timing changes based on traffic conditions, rather than the time of the day, resulting in lower congestion levels
    • Traffic signal timings on a group of junctions can be coordinated under all ATC modes, resulting in better vehicular progression
  • Extensibility
    • The system is highly extensible and customisable
    • Reads data from a wide variety of traffic sensors
    • Easily integrates with external systems; e.g. UTMC systems, traveller information systems
    • TIS and TIM are open platforms where custom algorithms can be deployed
  • Standardised solution
    • Complies with industry standards, resulting in no costly vendor lock-in
    • The system architecture follows the standard UK architecture for traffic signals
    • Communication between traffic signals and the central system is based on the UTMC/UG405 protocol
    • TIS is UTMC standard compatible