The Next Generation of Adaptive Signal Systems

Friday, April 23, 2010, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT
Smith Siromaskul, P.E., HDR

The video begins at 2:21.


Adaptive signal systems have been deployed in a number of locations across the country though their high maintenance requirements and additional cost have limited their widespread use. Adaptive systems adjust phases and timings at a network of signals in real time to improve traffic operations, particularly along congested corridors.

Rhythm Engineering has developed a new video detection-based system that vastly reduces the cost of deployment and maintenance. However, no existing microsimulation software could model the system due to its innovative methodology.

The methodology involves doing away completely with concept of cycle lengths, splits, and offsets, key parameters use in traffic signal analysis today. HDR and Rhythm Engineering joined together to develop a tool to act as middleware between the adaptive system and VISSIM that would emulate video detection, send the "video" to the adaptive controller, run the adaptive controller algorithm, and transmit detector calls back to VISSIM for inclusion in the model.

This presentation will discuss the lessons learned in the development of the emulation of video detection within VISSIM as well as showing the improvements in traffic operations provided by the system. It will also discuss the implications of the system's architecture and the impact it will have on not only adaptive signal systems but on the future of signal controllers.