Integrating Clarus data in traffic signal System Operation: A Survivable real-time weather-responsive system
Researchers at the University of Idaho in collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Transportation Operations, developed a prototype of a secure, dependable, real-time weather-responsive traffic signal system. The final report dated December 2011 provides details of the prototype that executes two tasks:
- Accesses weather information that provides near real-time atmospheric and pavement surface condition observations.
- Adapts signal timing in response to inclement weather.
The proposed system architecture employs two revolutionary software design approaches:
- Design for Survivability.
- Software performance measurement at the task level.
Minimal hardware is required for full implementation of the system as it operates and achieves its potential using current traffic controller and cabinet standards and technologies. As a result, it is compatible with future applications within the FHWA's connected-vehicle framework. The weather-responsive traffic signal system presented in this report serves as a major milestone in the development of secure and dependable real-time traffic control system applications.
The weather-responsive system developed in this project has five innovations:
- The system operates and achieves its potential using current traffic controller and controller cabinet technologies
- The system is compatible with future applications within the FHWA's connected-vehicle initiative
- Minimal hardware, in addition to traffic controllers, is required for full system implementation
- Computer driven algorithms implement traffic signal control decisions using Clarus data
- The proposed system architecture employs two revolutionary software design approaches: design for survivability and software performance measurement at the task level.
Researchers recommend that future research focused in the following three areas would be also beneficial:
- Field testing the system at signalized intersections in a variety of weather conditions
- Expanding control modifications to include other traffic control parameters, such as passage time, minimum green, and offsets
- Increasing the power of the system to maintain reliable, secure, and survivable traffic signal service.
The potential crash reduction benefits increase as the traffic volume level increases.
- Rear-end conflicts are the conflict type projected to be most eliminated by a weather-responsive traffic signal system with a potential average reduction of approximately 22 percent for moderate volume levels and 43 percent for high volume levels.
- The weather-responsive signal timing plans also show considerable potential in reducing traffic delays and stops.
- The percent reduction increases as the traffic volume level increases. The potential reduction in delays and stops seems consistent with what has been reported in the literature.
- Simulation studies revealed benefits of approximately 7 percent to 23 percent reduction in average delay, 4 percent to 9 percent reduction in vehicle stops, and 3 percent to 12 percent increase in average speeds.