With the UK’s traffic forecast to grow by up to 51% by 2050 (Department for Transport), city councils and transport authorities across the country must keep our cities accessible and traffic moving without impacting the environment.
Our new award-winning traffic optimisation solution, Flowtack, does just that. Collating and analysing traffic data in real-time, Flowtack forecasts and optimises traffic flows at the network level, providing greater control to keep cities moving.
Data = Control
Traffic sensors, apps and cars with satellite navigation are already collecting data across every city. The Flowtack tool is cloud-based software that is able to use this data to assess the traffic condition and control traffic lights at the network level to optimise the flow of traffic in and around the city.
Every traffic light junction responds to data from an inductive loop detector embedded in the road. If the road is quiet, the loop detects a car approaching the junction and the lights turn green.
Flowtack combines this kind of traffic data with information from many other sources. It makes instant calculations and adapts traffic light controls in seconds to forecast and optimise traffic flow.
This way, traffic can be managed as a whole – at network level – to improve the road network performance. Traffic signals react to live data, keeping vehicles moving through the city, instead of sitting in tailbacks and idling at junctions.
Smarter is cleaner
When traffic flows smoothly and efficiently, the benefits extend beyond road users and can bring significant benefits in ensuring cleaner air in our cities.
For instance, Flowtack can control the manner in which truck drivers move around the city, thereby reducing emissions – not only can the software prevent unnecessary braking through the management of the traffic network, it can also reduce idling at traffic lights.
This also provides greater control to road authorities and city councils as they can proactively adapt traffic flows so as to reduce emissions. But they can also go one step further. The software also helps achieve local policies and initiatives in place such as London’s Congestion Charge zones, all with the aim of reducing particulate matter, CO2 emissions and noise. And this benefits the commuter, making air cleaner, life easier and the journey to work more pleasant.
Together, these benefits create a cleaner city where it’s more pleasant to live and work.
Future proof mobility
Flowtack delivers traffic optimisation. It replaces decision-making at individual junctions with control over the entire traffic network through a cloud-based tool.
Not only does it drive traffic efficiency, it delivers more effective technological performance. Future improvements are simply a case of one central software upgrade, replacing the need to make mechanical changes to individual traffic lights at the control box. The software is also hardware agnostic, meaning it can fit into any traffic light manufacturer’s system.
Flowtack embeds simply into existing traffic systems and is designed to evolve as technology advances. The growth of the connected car and autonomous vehicles will generate further data for Flowtack to incorporate into its calculations, becoming smarter as new data sources emerge.
Royal HaskoningDHV’s Flowtack tool is a public private partnership that brings cutting edge technology to public infrastructure. By harnessing data that’s already available, Flowtack gives local authorities the power to drive change at the network level.
Prioritisation and performance
With Flowtack, it’s possible to provide absolute or conditional prioritisation for certain types of traffic under certain conditions. For example, if an accident is causing a tailback, steps will be taken to divert traffic to improve the flow of vehicles around the city, or priority can be given to cyclists in heavy rain.
For policymakers for a given city, this enables transport to be integrated with other policies, particularly keeping the city clean and reducing emissions. The result? A city which is more attractive for people and for future investment.
And for road authorities, Flowtack helps keep the city accessible, giving more control over your traffic network performance.
The tool has been pioneered in the Netherlands and has now been chosen by the cities of Deventer, Rijswijk and the National Motorways Authority, Rijkswaterstaat.
In November 2017, Flowtack was presented with the “most innovative engineering project” from Dutch organisation NLingenieurs. According to judges, Flowtack excels in the 'meaningful use of big data and shows what potential this has to improve the living environment.'