Integration is the process of bringing many subsystems together into one system, and ensuring that the subsystems function together as a single, unified system.
In the world of Traffic Management Software Integration means exactly that. Typical Traffic Management Control Center consists of at least a dozen (and often many more) subsystems that, if used separately, are not used to their full potential. Integration is the key method to in making roads safer, traffic more fluent, and costs optimized.
A good example why integration is necessary is incident on the road.
Let's assume there is a Video Automatic Incident Detection (Video AID, Automatic Video Incident Detection or AVID, Video Detection, Video Incident Detection System or VIDS – many different acronyms are in use) system detecting an incident. Let's also assume the systems, including Video AID, are not integrated. When an incident is detected, an operator would have to visually confirm the incident. To do so, the operator would have to look at all the camera feeds and try to detect where the incident happened. Looking at so many different camera feeds is very confusing. Once the operator detects the incident location, Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) need to be set to warn the drivers of danger and to direct traffic. The operator would have to start the DMS application and set each and every sign, upstream and downstream from the incident, manually, one by one. At the same time, the operator would have to dispatch emergency crew. If the incident happened inside a tunnel, the entire process would get even more complicated: with rising CO levels in the bore, the operator would need to turn on the fans in the right direction to air out the bore. At the same time, there would be numerous calls from road crew, traffic participants and media.
In an integrated environment, once Video Automatic Incident Detection detected an incident, the video feeds from the cameras at the place of the incident (and adjacent sections) would appear on the video wall. At the same time, automatic procedure would set the VMS to efficiently manage traffic. The system would automatically send notifications to emergency crews. The system would also turn on the fans, and played the PA messages, leaving little room for human error. The operator would just have to confirm the actions.
The results would be unambiguous and response time would be faster. Help would arrive sooner, secondary traffic accidents would be prevented, road would reopen for traffic sooner. Integrated system would inevitably ensure higher traffic safety, traffic fluency and lower cost of operation.
Integration is essential for implementing automatic procedures (aka “scenarios”) or ramp metering.
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