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Road traffic flow modeling and optimizing for crossroads

May 18, 2011

The increase in the number of traffic jams as a result of there being a greater number of automobiles on the roads requires a new approach from road authorities. The software development company received a request from the organization responsible for preparing traffic light algorithms and coordinating traffic at crossroads. The task involved developing a computer-assisted system for modelling and calculating congestion areas and their subsequent flow management. The model and application are designed for subsequent installation in a monitoring unit behind the traffic light. The system allows for an initial configuration stage, where settings can be put in place to input data about the crossroad and apply numerical methods so as to minimize the work done during the operational stage.


Using statistics about traffic intensity and the physical distribution of cars in various areas as raw data, software has been developed to deal with many issues. These include predicting traffic jams, possible congestion and long lines on major and subsidiary routes, constructing models and calculations for phasing of traffic lights, establishing the appropriateness of bringing additional sections into use, locating places to implement bi-directional traffic ordering devices, and identifying the correct time to switch traffic light phases at unregulated crossroads. The development stage took into account the number of junctions and corners made by intersecting roads, the various possible routes of travel between points, the factor of priority flows, and the time of day as well as the day of the week.


Furthermore, the operational requirements of the software have been met by the computing units installed at the sites. The advantage of the system lies in the fact that it involves the daily, flexible coordination of a system of fixed points to a regular schedule. To mitigate the effects of emergency situations (such as road traffic accidents and repair works to public utilities) a response system has been put in place. During operations to eliminate congestion, incoming information from video recordings and sensors placed at fixed points are used. The reader unit makes use of an algorithm based on neural networks.


A useful feature of the system is the fact that readings are taken in real time, and contribute to continually updated statistics from the point of observation. New information is accumulated and then uploaded into the subsidiary module of the framework software. Use of the application presents many practical benefits, including de-congesting adjoining points, reducing the number of traffic jams on specific stretches of road or shortening tailbacks, automation of traffic management and a reduction in the number of special cases requiring on-site staff to regulate the roads manually. Furthermore, the overall congestion situation is improved due to the avoidance of cascading congestion in adjacent areas. Pollution at crossroads is reduced, as are accidents and points of conflict between motorists and pedestrians, and the overall system functionality is improved while reducing expenditure on servicing the infrastructure.

Description: Design and development of software for modeling and regulating traffic flow on a high-load stretch of road or junction. The system uses video cameras to evaluate the density of vehicle flow in traffic lanes. Then a piece of mathematical apparatus is used to calculate optimal traffic light delay in all directions and for additional sections with the aim of maximizing traffic capacity while reducing the number of traffic jams.