The North American division of Norwegian company Q-Free, a leading global supplier of tolling and intelligent transportation systems (ITS), has been awarded a contract to add additional capabilities to an Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) initiative in Pennsylvania.
Working under contract to local company Carr & Duff Inc., which is the electrical engineering contractor on the US$8.65m ICM project, Q-Free will add advanced queue warning (QW) and variable speed limit (VSL) capabilities to its OpenTMS statewide advanced traffic management system (ATMS) platform.
Q-Free has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) since 2012, and has implemented its OpenTMS software suite that acts as a single statewide ATMS platform, promoting coordinated traffic management and operations across all five of the agency’s regional Traffic Management Centers (TMC).
The new project, part of PennDOT’s ‘Early-Action Initiatives for Interstate 76’, is located along the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) between the PA Turnpike (I-276), US-1 in Montgomery County, and the City of Philadelphia.
The contract will be released in phased deployments starting late 2018, through early 2019. Q-Free will develop an algorithm-based QW and VSL module within the OpenTMS platform that will process and fuse probe and Remote Traffic Microwave Sensor (RTMS) data to detect dangerous speed variances and respond with advanced warning Digital Message Signage (DMS) and harmonized speed limits.
The scheme is part of PennDOT’s long-term initiative to create a comprehensive, multimodal transportation management system that is designed to enhance travel and safety along the I-76 corridor. The new capability will be fully integrated across DMS, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video, vehicle detection (VD), and travel time subsystems to enable seamless and automated management of both planned and unplanned events.
The VSL systems will display regulatory speed limits that can change based on real-time expressway traffic and weather conditions to improve vehicle flow and safety by warning drivers of changing conditions. The QW systems will provide real-time DMS warnings to alert motorists of significant slowdowns ahead to reduce sudden braking and the potential for rear-end crashes.
The traffic information collected and processed will be stored for up to seven years. Based upon a configurable and adaptable software design, PennDOT will also be able to expand the use of QW and VSL in other areas of the state after deployment on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76).
“This project demonstrates our ability to work in partnership with many stakeholders to develop real-world solutions to complex traffic problems,” commented Christopher Melton, managing director of Q-Free North America’s inter-urban and tolling divisions. “Using advanced data fusion techniques and incorporating an algorithm-based approach to Queue Warning and VSL, we can help PennDOT reduce the occurrence of rear-end crashes and harmonize speed in areas of stop-and-go traffic along this busy corridor.”
Håkon Volldal, president and CEO of Q-Free ASA, added, “We are proud to support PennDOT’s implementation of Active Traffic Management (ATM) strategies, and as we continue to expand and enhance their ATMS capabilities, we are proving that different fields of traffic management can be integrated to create new solutions and add value for customers.”