Interactive traffic light controls (iTLCs) will be providing information to drivers. In order to communicate with TLCs, a universal protocol will be developed and each TLC will be given a network connection. Through this connection, the controller can program and adjust settings from a distance. Technolution checks and tests the protocol and tests its functioning from the traffic management center.
TLCs are currently still autonomous systems. At a junction, there are a number of traffic lights that are all controlled from one box. This box holds a computer (automatic controller) in which the control of the junction is programmed. Each manufacturer does it slightly different so that systems and software are often not interchangeable. The adjustment of the TLC control often needs to happen on-site. That is unpractical, time-consuming and expensive.
Developing an open protocol for iTLC
The Dutch ministry of the Infrastructure and the Environment requires the TLCs to become interactive. Therefore, the TLCs are provided with a network connection (connected) so the controller can program and adjust the TLC computer from a distance. Also, the TLCs are given an intelligence to distribute information (cooperative functionality). The suppliers of the TLCs are joining forces to design an interactive TLC (iTLC) with both connected and cooperative functionality. This includes matching interfaces, while all this will have an open architecture so it can be accessed by third parties.
Testing TLC protocol
Technolution was asked by the Dutch ministry of I&E to check and test the developed iTLC protocols of all the manufacturers/suppliers. We assess the functionality and compatibility, but also the safety regarding the data that leaves the TLC box via a network. As supplier of the MobiMaestro traffic management centre we are independent of the TLC suppliers and test the protocols and architecture regarding each type of TLC.
In 4 years, 1/3rd of the TLCs will be 'retrained'
The iTLC project is a side project to “Talking Traffic”, the program of Beter Benutten to transfer traffic information from the road side systems to cars. Within Talking Traffic, the upcoming 4 years will result in 1500 of the appr. 4000 Dutch TLCs running on the new protocols.