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Thursday , 11 August 2022

Providing Traffic Solutions on Highways

While offering a complete group of systems that can handle every aspect of traffic management, it is capable of direct control of all implemented subsystems; integration of video system within the graphical user interface; interactive guidance in critical situations; logging, recording and analysis of all system events; automation of all alert processes and forwarding important information, data and messages to the appropriate emergency services (i.e. fire department, emergency medical services, etc.); and simulation and training of all participants in the process.

The highly modular and scalable design of iVisionmax TraffiX™ enables it to incorporate all the desired features of traffic management applications. The software communicates with different sub-systems on the highway over optical fiber network and accumulates data.

iVisionmax – TraffiX™ collects and displays real-time data of traffic sub systems, like VMS, MET, ATCC, CCTV, ECS, Network Management, in a user friendly format. Built-in automatic functions also enable superior control in different scenarios and intimate the operator through alarms, events and predefined messages sent automatically to the corresponding VMS; e.g., when the visibility sensor of the MET detects poor visibility of highway, say, due to foggy conditions, a “Warning Message” in the VMS is executed remotely from the Control Centre. This feature enables real-time management of traffic even in the absence of an operator. A whole range of such pre-defined logic and thresholds for various scenarios, such as fire and accidents are available to the operator for configuration. Reports and Events are a critical part of any advanced Traffic Management System and enable the user to view different device and traffic related information in a classified manner. iVisionmax – TraffiX™ generates comprehensive reports for VMS, CCTV, ATCC, and MET in various formats.

The systems that are monitored and controlled by iVisionmax – TraffiX™ are:

CCTV–based Video Surveillance Systems, installed at major junctions along the highway stretch, are used for online traffic monitoring, capacity management, incident detection, and proactive measures to avoid accidents. They constantly monitor the traffic conditions round the clock to ensure smooth traffic flow.

Emergency Roadside Telephone (ERT) System, also known as Emergency Call Boxes (ECB), installed along the highway stretch, is used for communicating with the Highway Operators in case of an emergency situation, such as vehicle breakdowns, accidents, etc. Typically installed at every two km interval, these systems are very critical in ensuring the safety of commuters. In the event of any casualty, the commuters are able to identify the nearest ECB for seeking help through the operators in the Control Centres.

Variable Message Signs (VMS) enable tremendous information to be displayed to the commuters like road situations (traffic jams, route times, alternative routes); incidents (road works, accidents, restrictions); adverse weather conditions (rain, snow, wind); and general information (road safety campaigns).

Automatic Traffic Counter & Classifying (ATCC) Systems are for accurate counting and classification of different types of vehicle plying through the highway. ATCC system typically includes sensors for axle counting, vehicle detector loop, controller and its enclosure and in-built power backup.

Meteorological Systems/Weather Information Systems are designed for monitoring the weather conditions over the stretch of the highway to provide accurate information on driving conditions to the commuters. A MET System consists of: Ambient Temperature Sensor, Wind Speed & Direction Sensor, Road Surface Temperature Sensor, Relative Humidity Sensor, Visibility Sensor and Data Logger.

Traffic Maintenance and Management Center (TMCC) is located in the Toll Plaza building. The TMCC consists of IT hardware and the iVisionmax – TraffiX™ HTMS SCADA system for monitoring, configuring and controlling the above-mentioned field equipment.

Data transmission & Network Management System is the fiber optic network used as the communication backbone for connecting all the subsystems to the TMCC. Typically configured as a ring network, the transmission system ensures the functioning of the field devices in a redundant manner. For instance, should one ECB fail due to the failure of a controller, the remaining ECBs on the network continue to operate.

It is important to have a common control unit for all these. Traffic Maintenance and Management Centre (TMCC), also known as the Control Centre (CC), is designed to manage and control all the above mentioned systems either directly or via local sub-centres. The latter provide a certain level of local control through a data communication (transmission) network which extends from TMCC to the farthest on road component.

How do these systems work?

“In order to achieve the required simplicity of system management and control to keep the operator focused, it is important to ensure that the complete interaction between the system and the operator is achieved at a single point through a single user interface. This is the essence of ergonomic integration, which can only be achieved through optimised integration of hardware and software,” says Vijay K Arora, Head of L&T’s Control & Automation business unit.

He adds, “Deployed hardware and software enable clear overview of the current situation on the highway and provide means for regulating and measuring traffic flow through equipment deployed in the field. We ensure that the hardware chosen for this application is capable of withstanding the hostile environment that it is subjected to along the highway. Integration of all subsystems along the road assures proper and on time reaction at any kind of risk situation and assures maximum safety for all traffic participants. The monitoring and control of traffic is done remotely from the Control Centre (CC).”

As shown in the figure above, various components of ATMS are connected over a fiber optic backbone network. Data from these components is collected at the Control Centre, which is typically located in the Toll Plaza Building. iVisionmax – TraffiX™ SCADA software converts this data into meaningful information.

In addition to HTMS, L&T also offers solutions for intelligent illumination of the street lights along the highway. With the emergence of “Green Technology” and “Carbon Credits”, it is imperative that the illumination of street lights is optimised based on the traffic density and the ambient lighting conditions. L&T offers a wireless solution to ensure that the on/off duration of these street lights is remotely controlled from the Control Centre, based on the traffic density and the ambient light conditions, thus saving the concessionaire’s utility bills and earning carbon credits for optimal usage of electricity.

L&T – Control & Automation has successfully installed and commissioned the Highway Traffic Management System, along with its subsystems at various places including Panipat Elevated Corridor Ltd, Vadodara-Bharuch Toll Way Ltd, Interstate Road Corridor Ltd (Palanpur – Swaroopganj), Krishnagiri-Thopur Toll Road Ltd, Western Andhra Toll Road Ltd (Jadcherla – Kotakata), Namakkal – Karur Toll Road Ltd and Dindigul – Semayanallur Toll Road Ltd. It is, at present, executing the HTMS on the 240kms Surat-Dahisar Highway.

 

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