INGE – Intelligente Kreuzung im Spannungsfeld Energieeffizienz und Verkehrssicherheit
The main infrastructural parts of urban intersections are road marks, traffic lights and lighting.Signaling – with the exception of metal signs – is always realized as intelligent systems. In case of lighting systems a trend for including intelligence into the luminaries for remote control and diagnosis applications can also be recognized. The different intelligent systems can be divided in safety-related and non-safety-related networks. Signaling (i.e., traffic lights and traffic light controller) is considered as safety-related because a failure can compromise traffic safety. Electronic displays (e.g., LED-based variable message signs) and intelligent lighting systems are non-safety-related systems.
All three systems have in common that outside of big cities, in smaller towns and municipalities each system is used on its own and operated in a closed way. From a technical point of view this is only partly reasonable for the safety-related signaling system due its high demands on safety integrity. Therefore, a commonly used infrastructure like a management-platform or pool of data does not exist. The effort for installation, setup, operation and maintenance are necessary for every single system which leads to higher costs, a higher overall energy consumption and less functionality than an integrated solution could provide. Additionally, it has to be mentioned that especially in the safety-related domain it is common to use technology proven in use that is often not state-of-the-art realization. New technological approaches can lead to significant reduction of the energy consumption of the components.
Project INGE aims to increase the energy efficiency of infrastructure at intersections by more than 20% without compromising traffic safety. It is intended to reach this goal by implementing additional intelligence into the safety-related system. In addition, all the heterogeneous systems (traffic light, optical displays and lighting) installed at intersections are integrated mechanically into a traffic light and with the help of open communication interfaces into a higher order management-system.
For that purpose the safety-related system will be adapted to include a suitable communication network between traffic light and controller. This will replace the currently used control and monitor mechanism that is based on the measurement of the power loss. The non-safety-related system is going to use a homogeneous wireless network that integrates communication modules developed in a previous project. All systems will be integrated in a management system for control and maintenance. Open communication interfaces as well as modular system architecture are going to be the basic principles of the system design. The housing of the traffic lights is enhanced so that sensors can be mechanically integrated. In the end, the holistic and modular solution is going to be evaluated regarding energy efficiency and traffic safety in a test installation based on different application scenarios. Focus is on the feedback of the end user.
The main result of project INGE is a holistic concept for managing the infrastructure at an intersection by integration and adaption of intelligent communication modules,communication between different units and components of a signaling system and open communication interfaces. The evaluation of a test installation regarding energy efficiency,traffic safety and user acceptance helps to gain valuable data and conclusions for later dissemination activities in order to spread the idea of a holistic approach and to raise the awareness of relevant stakeholders.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided to us by the BMVIT and FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) for the Inge project.