New system will ‘revolutionise’ London’s traffic management

London road network Siemens

Image: Siemens via Twitter

A ‘world leading upgrade’ to the Capital’s road network management system will deliver £1bn of benefits by reducing delays for all road users by 2036, according to TfL.

On 28 June, TfL announced it had awarded Siemens Mobility Limited a 10-year contract to deliver the ‘cutting edge’ new Real Time Optimiser (RTO) system.

The RTO system is designed make better use of the road space by optimising the traffic light timings, thereby reducing delays on the Capital’s road network.

At present, London uses an extensive network of SCOOT-controlled traffic lights, which detect traffic and adjust the signal timings to manage queues and give buses priority if they are running late.

According to TfL, this cuts traffic delays by 13% but struggles to ‘optimise effectively for everyone’.

The new RTO technology will take in a range of new data sources, including sharing data with connected vehicles which could include autonomous vehicles in the future.

Data generated by the system can then be used to better inform road users of current or expected road conditions, to support improved journey planning.

Working closely with TfL, Siemens will develop and maintain the new system, which will be ‘pivotal’ in achieving TfL and the mayor’s ‘Healthy Streets Approach’ – designed to improve air quality, reduce congestion and make sustainable travel more appealing and accessible to everyone.

Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management, said:

“This world-leading new traffic management system will be a game-changer for us in London.

“It will use new data sources to better manage our road network, tackle congestion, reduce delay for people choosing healthier travel options and improve air quality.

“And by providing our control centre with a tool which supports more effective incident response, everyone will benefit.”

Wilke Reints, managing director at Siemens ITS, said:

“This is a major development for London and its road users and for the traffic industry as a whole.

“Given TfL’s clear focus on delivering the safest and most efficient traffic network for all road users, we believe this is a unique opportunity to build a robust, reliable system that will meet the needs of one of the world’s largest cities.

“Once RTO is successfully introduced, London will be a showcase for intelligent traffic solutions for megacities worldwide.”

03 July 2018