Trigger framework helps manage traffic in Copenhagen

BLIP Systems together with Hermes Traffic Intelligence and Imtech Traffic is participating in the Copenhagen Municipality Public Private Innovation collaboration on ITS.

The team has designed and implemented a traffic data trigger framework to change traffic light settings, lane usage, signtexts, or dispatch traffic regulators (police) based on changes in real-time and/or historical traffic data from various sources.

Traditionally, real-time traffic data is used to inform drivers of expected journey times, while historical data is typically used in infrastructure model changes. With this new trigger framework, traffic data can be used not only to inform drivers about the current situation, but also to manage traffic on a holistic scale. With an open framework architecture it will be possible to add several data sources and trigger events at any time during the framework lifecycle.

The trigger framework could be part of the traffic management centre. Here it would assist traffic decision makers in managing the traffic by suggesting proper actions based on current traffic. Having a trigger framework will also make it easier to implement both new events and new data sources for future use.

The ability to detect and mitigate disruptive events in daily traffic, offers road authorities the ability to proactively manage the road network to minimise driver frustration, delays and congestion. This leads not only to significant economic benefits through reduced journey times and fuel consumption, but also reduced CO2 emissions and improved air quality.

The team ran a proof-of-concept project to demonstrate how triggers, based on a few data sources would enable automatic control of traffic lights in the area around Denmark’s National Stadium Parken in Copenhagen. Real-time data was collected from 20 BlipTrack Bluetooth and WiFi sensors. A trigger framework website was developed and semi-automated integration with Imtech traffic controllers was implemented. To analyse the benefits, a before and after study was conducted, and changes to the traffic light cycle times showed improved traffic flow for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles leaving Parken after a football match on 21 April 2014.