Adaptive Street Signal Control
In spite of what it feels like sometimes, traffic light systems are not simply controlled by timers. They are most commonly controlled by centralized controllers using complex algorithms to predict traffic flow. Controllers also measure traffic flow at individual lights to assess local conditions and determine modifications that may be required.
Although this type of system has been used all over the world with success, they are usually still very inefficient. Even with the advent of local system adjustment for emergency and public transportation flow optimization, system inefficiencies still exist. The common thread and root to the efficiency problem is the fact that the systems are generalized.
The solution to this problem is adaptive traffic control. Adaptive traffic control is a new method of measuring and controlling traffic. It works by measuring the traffic at one intersection, then communicating data to the next traffic signal to dictate optimal traffic flow. This method smooths out temporary traffic variations and leads to fewer traffic jams.
How Does Adaptive Control Work?
Adaptive traffic light control works through network communication between smart traffic signals. Each intersection has the ability to adapt to current traffic conditions as well as communicate that information to other traffic signals in the area. Sensors at each intersection monitor traffic congestion and submit info to a controller stationed nearby.
The active interaction between signals provides infinite flexibility and leads to efficient and optimized traffic management across the entire municipality.
CROSS systems provides these optimizing smart traffic control systems that have the ability to function independently without relying on a centralized controller. These independent systems allow for smart management at each intersection, creating valuable data for use in planning efficient flow.
Problems Faced By Traditional Traffic Control Systems
Some of the key limitations of traditional traffic light systems are:
- Incapable of controlling more than a small set of signals
- Evaluate traffic on an intersection-by-intersection basis
- Do not recognize or analyze patterns
- Have a limited ability to scale
These limitations are inherent to traditional traffic systems without the smart technology we provide. These problems pose limitations to the ultimate effectiveness and versatility of traffic control systems.
This type of limitation can be a problem in any urban or rural setting, but can be particularly debilitating in a city undergoing accelerated growth or large seasonal shifts in population or visitors. Traffic control systems in these types of environments must be able to adjust readily to both predictable and unpredictable shifts in traffic flow. While traditional systems may have formulas to predict Saturday morning traffic in a college town, it may not be able to account for changes in flow when the local team has a championship parade.
Adaptive control allows for real time tracking of and adjustment to this type of temporary traffic influence. Attempting to employ multiple algorithmic adjustments using a traditional system only adds complexity and ultimately could lead to catastrophic failure.
More Than Just Simple Adaptive Controls
Another critical feature of the CROSS adaptive control system is the ability to provide priority routing to public transportation, emergency services, and other city asset vehicles.
The communication takes place between the vehicle and the traffic controller. The degree of flexibility within the local traffic pattern is evaluated and adjusted as needed to give preferred traffic routing to city vehicles without completely disrupting traffic.
Based on the local results of evaluation, the best route available is plotted using the traffic flow optimization logic in the system and the timing of local stoplights would be modified to accommodate. The data collected from the smart traffic light systems can also be used to determine ideal routing of government vehicles with flexible routing options.