Emergency vehicles and buses will also be fitted with on-board units that calculate a vehicle’s position to the nearest five metres and transmit information to the control centre
The Icelandic capital of Reykjavik is installing Siemens’ satellite-based prioritisation system Sitraffic Stream. The Simple Tracking Realtime Application for Managing traffic lights and passenger information will ensure that traffic lights automatically turn green for emergency and urban public transport vehicles at road intersections.
The City of Reykjavik and the Icelandic Road and Coastal administration (Vegagerd rikisins) are sharing the system, which has initially been installed at six selected intersections in the centre of the capital in cooperation with the local sales partner, Smith & Norland.
Around 50 fire trucks and ambulances are due to be fitted out with on-board units (OBUs) in the coming months. The local bus operator will also be equipping approximately 120 vehicles. Using GPS, the OBUs calculate a vehicle’s position to the nearest five metres and transmit this information to the control centre. When available virtual signalling points are passed, the control centre switches the lights to green. As soon as the vehicle has crossed the intersection, the lights switch back to normal operation again.
Until now, the only prioritisation solutions available for buses and emergency vehicles were of the analogue variety, and it was all but impossible for smaller towns and communities to put these solutions into practice on account of high implementation costs. Sitraffic Stream on the other hand, is completely digital and merely requires installing a small OBU with an integrated GPS and GPRS antenna in the vehicle. Unlike for conventional systems, the cost of Sitraffic Stream for communities is manageable, as expensive roadside installations are not required.
Additionally, the position data transmitted is used to provide up-to-date bus departure times at stops in real time. This is a real bonus for passengers as the punctuality of public transport is improved and buses run more reliably. What’s more, CO2 pollution in the cities is reduced as buses don’t get held up in traffic as much and thus simultaneously offer a real alternative to private transport. The fire service also benefits from Sitraffic Stream as in the event of an emergency, fire trucks no longer have to go through red lights at intersections.
In Böblingen, a town to the south of Stuttgart, Sitraffic Stream has been successfully prioritising fire trucks and speeding up public transport since 2014. As part of a pilot project, signaling points were set up at four intersections and OBUs installed in two fire trucks. Everyone involved was so impressed with the success of this project that the city is now implementing Sitraffic Stream across the board.
If you liked this, you might also be interested in reading the following:
Energy-efficient traffic light technology on trial
Understanding how people use transport networks is an important part of developing more durable solutions
Holistic smart transport system launched
Cubic Transportation Systems and Microsoft launch their multi-modal transport management system for smart cities at ITS World