Siemens drives adaptive traffic control in London

  • October 5, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Siemens Mobility and Transport for London (TfL) have launched Sitraffic Fusion, an adaptive traffic control system for the city.

Fusion is a key part of London’s RTO real-time optimiser, which will provide a different way of managing roads across the city, revolutionising the system that has been keeping London moving for over 30 years.

Until now, traffic lights across the capital have been managed using information gathered from inductive loops, which are buried in the road and detect vehicles approaching, a system known as Scoot.

The Fusion system uses richer data sources from a variety of transport modes, including data from connected vehicles and buses. With flexible, policy-driven adaption techniques, Fusion improves on the Scoot philosophy of reducing vehicle delay and stops, by optimising signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings based on all road users’ needs.

“We’re working to overhaul the way we manage London’s road network as we tackle some of the biggest issues London faces, such as poor air quality and congestion, ensuring that the capital has a green, healthy and sustainable future,” said Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management. “This ground-breaking new adaptive control system, part of our surface intelligent transport systems programme, has the potential to make our road network more efficient and responsive to people’s needs and movement. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the results of our first trial sites.”

Developed by Siemens Mobility in collaboration with TfL and supported by the University of Southampton, Fusion enables all modes of transport to be modelled and optimised in a way that responds to the problems that cities such as London face, such as cleaning up toxic air, making walking and cycling easier and safer, and delivering a reliable and sustainable public transport system.

Fusion is set to enter operation over the coming weeks, where it will control a number of living laboratory trial sites in London. This will allow Siemens Mobility to test increasingly complex functionality and verify its performance at existing traffic intersections in a live environment.

“This trial marks a major milestone in the development of this ground-breaking traffic management, and I know its progress will be followed closely by industry colleagues around the world,” said Wilke Reints, managing director of Siemens Mobility’s intelligent traffic systems business in the UK. “Whilst London is using our hosted UTC [urban traffic control] for the first time to provide Fusion with connectivity to the street, the system is designed to work with a range of UTC systems. Although this is just the first manifestation of the new system, we are enormously excited by its potential and the degree of control that it will give transport authorities.”