How are traffic problems in today’s world related to existing Traffic Control Centers?
Today’s cities, metropolitan areas and densely populated regions all face similar traffic problems:
- Roads are under-capacitated, often multiply under-capacitated (millions of vehicles are travelling through network built for hundreds of thousand)
- Cars are still the first choice for travelling for most of the people
- Most of the people use main corridors as their primary options
- Private vehicles, public transport and other modes of transportation are not sufficiently coordinated
- Traffic Control Centers (TCC) are not efficient enough and they do not have sufficient precise and detailed information about traffic to successfully coordinate it
The roots of these problems are:
- The road network and related infrastructure was not designed and built having in mind such exponential rise of population and demand for traffic
- The development of alternative transportation modes does not follow this rise of demand
- Traffic management systems are built individually
- Separate system for traffic lights management
- Separate systems for ITS Advanced Traffic Management
- Separate Systems for tunnel management
- Separate traffic counting, separate CCTV, etc
- The newest technologies are not immediately applied in TCC’s
This all results with the fact that although TCC’s do exist, they are relatively inefficient because they are running non-integrated and non-coordinated systems based on insufficient and non-synthetized traffic data.
Traffic management strategies applied from such TCC’s are rudimentary, slow in implementation, and usually end with poor results.
Such TCC’s are inefficient.
Those are TCC’s, generation 1.0. They only accomplish, maybe, 10% of their potential.
Why actually are TCC’s established and what actually should they do?
Actually, TCC’s are established with the goal to:
- Monitor traffic situation in the road network
- Identify possibility of congestion in advance
- Identify traffic incidents (and accidents) immediately as they happen
- Timely activate right measures (traffic strategies) for resolving congestion, incidents and preventing secondary incidents by using ITS systems for informing travelers and engaging relevant services (police, emergency, 511, …)
- Based on experience, constantly improve traffic management strategies
In short, TCC must establish and keep maximum traffic flow with minimum primary and secondary incidents.
Such TCC will justify its existence.
Why don’t Traffic Control Centers 1.0. justify their existence?
To fulfill such goals, traffic managers and traffic operators in TCC must have technological infrastructure to help them in performing their duties. This infrastructure is built out of two components:
- Traffic equipment for collecting information about actual traffic (traffic counters, CCTV cameras, etc.) and traffic equipment for directing and informing (variable and dynamic message signs, traffic lights, etc.) – THIS ALREADY EXISTS FOR MOST OF THE TCC’s
- Suitable software infrastructure – TCC Software Platform that will allow traffic managers and operators to accomplish their goals efficiently and ergonomic – THIS DOES NOT EXIST IN MOST OF THE TCC’s
Instead of software platform, TCC’s 1.0. operate with non-integrated, non-coordinated applications for management of individual subsystems.
This all results with poor outcome, and enormous stress of traffic managers and operators.
The solution is Traffic Control Center – generation 2.0
The solution for this problem are TCC’s of second generation – (TCC 2.0). TCC’s 2.0 are based on software platform that integrates all systems in TCC and is capable of:
- Analyze and synthetize real-time and historical data collected form all sensors, information from vehicles connected to TCC network, and all information received from related services and stakeholders
- Present to the operator in TCC such synthetized information in ergonomic view so that they comprehend intuitively and very fast overall traffic situation in the entire network (city)
- Anticipate and detect congestion and incidents before or immediately as they start happening
- Alarm operators about congestion and incidents, allowing them prompt confirmation through CCTV which is integrated in the platform
- Suggest them optimum strategies for resolving, and simulate, faster than real-time, outcomes of such strategies, so that operators can choose the right ones
- Activate the strategies after operator’s approval by:
- Sending commands for implementation of chosen strategy to relevant ITS devices (DMS, traffic lights, etc.)
- Sending personalized instructions synthetized in TCC, to all vehicles using Connected Vehicles App
- Informing all potential travelers through TCC web portal
- Sending commands to relevant services and other related transportation modes
- Supervise execution of all active strategies
Traffic Control Center 2.0 – modern traffic management technology and benefits for society
Traffic Control Centers 2.0. are base and necessary precondition for implementing modern traffic management concepts known under different names such as Integrated Corridor Management (ICM), Smart Cities Traffic Management, etc.
In particular, TCC’s 2.0 bring following benefits to the society:
- Successful and efficient traffic management of cities and bigger road networks, to the satisfaction of all users
- Higher safety in traffic
- Reduction in costs of congestion, incidents and pollution
- Higher quality of living
topXviewTM is traffic management software platform which is designed and developed for TCC 2.0.