Incident and Situation Management

Automatization of certain processes during resolving a certain event on the road or tunnel can influence traffic safety and traffic flow fluency as well as influence operator’s/concessionaire’s income (example).

Automated procedures that make up Incident and Situation Management (a.k.a. Scenarios) are sets of predefined rules that should be executed in a certain situation: from most dangerous, like fire in the tunnel, to everyday situations, like road works. Scenario is an abstraction which encompasses all aspects of resolving incidental or regular real life situations in traffic network. It could be presented as a work-flow where each step is either an request for operator to took an action (i.e. “please confirm video automatic incident detection alarm”) or an automatic system reaction (i.e. “turn on traffic program accident ahead, set speed limit to 40”).

This concept ensures that each operator reacts in exactly the same manner, thus reducing the possibility of human error to a minimum and providing the fastest response time.

This, along with the true integration through interaction of all deployed subsystems, ensures top level safety on the road. Scenario can be triggered automatically by an alarm (i.e. sensor detecting traffic irregularities), or it can be triggered manually by an operator (i.e. maintenance). Automatically triggered scenarios could result in automatic reactions of the system or could require the operator’s input, depending on the event triggering them.

Implementing systematic, step-by-step procedures in the system as automated procedures alleviates the workload from operators. The workload usually done by several operators can now be completed by a single person, ensuring uniformity of operator reactions.

Some of the key premises of Scenario Manager should be:

  • Taking input from all subsystems
  • Ability to control and manage (send commands to) all devices in the system
  • Complex trigger evaluation based on the input from the entire traffic network
  • Operator guided automation – decision flow based on operator's input
  • Check lists (procedure lists) which the guide operator through situation resolution
  • Severity levels – every scenario has an attribute which determines its impact in the system.
  • Automatic creation of environment for the operator – when scenario becomes active, video from relevant CCTV cameras is presented on alarm monitors, area of interest is focused in GUI, etc.
  • Management of multiple simultaneously running scenarios at the same or different locations
  • Conflict resolution during traffic plan activation – when new traffic plan is about to be executed, operator gets a preview of the new state. If operator determines that the new traffic plan would set some elements (typically Variable Message Signs) not following the current road situation, operator can cancel execution of some parts of the traffic plan (or completely cancel traffic plan execution)
  • Only authorized users can control certain scenarios' execution based on severity level
  • Scenario management supervision – some users can get overview of entire scenario management subsystem with history data and current data for every scenario in the system etc.

What if a system is not built on these premises?

Consequences will be compromised safety, financial loss and disruption of traffic flow.

The system without built in priority hierarchy could have serious repercussions. For example, if there are two incidents: unauthorized entrance to tunnel safety passage, and  a burning vehicle a mile down the road, the system might deal with the unauthorized entrance, as opposed to burning vehicle, . It is needless to mentioned traffic fluency or financial aspects of this case.



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