Elgin - category winner 2017
"Raw" traffic disruptions data on roadworks.org
"Validated" real-time traffic disruption data
Sounding the drum for innovative real-time traffic monitoring
Elgin and TomTom's roadworks.pro Real-Time services can correlate the causes of traffic jams against planned and unplanned disruptions as well as helping develop more effective intervention strategies
The practical usefulness of Elgin and TomTom's roadworks.pro Real-Time technology was acknowledged by the Costain-sponsored Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge (IIC) when the judges named it regional winner at the 2017 event.
Marketed as "the next generation virtual traffic management centre", roadwork.pro Real-Time is designed to provide a single platform for the coordinating, planning, communicating and monitoring of traffic disruptions. It also has the capability to influence driver behaviour through live sat-nav updates as well as combining information about planned roadworks and traffic disruptions with a live view of traffic conditions - correlating where possible the cause of traffic jams against planned and unplanned disruptions.
The technology removes the need for physical sensors and cameras throughout the network, says Elgin and, by sourcing live data from in-car systems and mobile phones, "puts modern traffic monitoring technology within reach and budget". It relates traffic slow downs to their causes, providing better visibility and, where possible, advance warning to traffic control centres, streetworks and network planning officers, as well as accurate and timely information to the travelling public.
The technology is already helping transform how England's Economic Heartland (EEH) monitors disruptions caused by works, says Elgin, supporting intelligent real-time network management and developing effective intervention strategies and policy. This, it adds, helps EEH and other stakeholders to better understand the causes of traffic jams and recognise its role in improving the planning and management of works. In addition, roadworks.pro Real-Time will assist in identifying and implementing tactical intervention strategies to alleviate issues, as "successful early intervention on a single major incident can save significant costs".
Elgin and TomTom won the IIC regional award category as the competition's only software provider, says James Golding-Graham, principal innovation and research officer at Oxfordshire County Council: "Their solution has no reliance on roadside infrastructure thus answering the challenge well. The system has the ability to monitor and evaluate the network at a glance, from a single screen which validates multiple sources of information; it is a useful resource for traffic management teams in the face of reduced funding - easily allowing rapid prioritisation; plus for the first time actually attributing congestion to roadworks."
According to Martin Tugwell, programme director of England's Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance, many local transport authorities already use Elgin to convey information on roadworks and disruptions to the highway network. "The innovation set out in Elgin's winning proposal builds on that and enables infrastructure owners to improve the flow of information to users," he adds. "Providing better information to users is key to helping support businesses and users who rely on the highway network."
Elgin's chair Shane O'Neill describes his company's IIC award as "a validation of the entrepreneurial risk we take in launching new services", and quotes Henry Ford remarking that if asked what they want people will say faster horses. "All innovation requires a step into the unknown," O'Neill asserts, "and early validation by the EEH judges has given us the confidence to fully invest in the Real-Time vision and make it truly national."