Trials show benefits of AGD’s 318 radar detector at Microprocessor Optimized Vehicle Actuation sites


Deployed on over 3,000 sites across the UK, Microprocessor Optimized Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) has provided a well-established strategy for traffic control at isolated junctions and small networks for nearly 30 years. A new control method has now been trialled that does away with the usual induction loops.

Introduced by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in the 1980s, MOVA boasts advanced capability, and is able to cater for the control of a full range of traffic conditions through its sophisticated algorithm that works hand-in-hand with vehicle detection technology. Its main selling point lies in its intelligent ability to switch operation when a junction becomes too congested, using the data from vehicle detection technology on traffic approaches to maximize capacity. This advanced use of data and change in operation can be replicated across a wide range of isolated junctions.

Ultimately, the capability of MOVA is reliant on its analysis of traffic demands approaching the given junction, at which point it optimizes signal timings in order to minimize overall delay. Ensuring the detection technology is configured and working optimally is essential to how effective MOVA can be in improving the efficiency of traffic flow. In recent months, AGD Systems has been trialing its ‘318’ radar detector with the company’s in-built proprietary technology at a number of MOVA sites across the UK. AGD’s technology allows reliable and precise input of occupancy data for both ‘In’ and ‘X’ detection points up to 492ft (150m) from the stop line. AGD’s ‘318’ radar unit offers advanced vehicle detection that, through trials, has been proven to provide accurate, critical event data for supporting the MOVA algorithm and increasing traffic flow.

Additional benefits of the AGD 318 at MOVA controlled junctions include: quick and easy setup from a drag-and-drop touchscreen-compatible graphical user interface (GUI); capital cost savings over other detection technology and their associated infrastructure; and vast maintenance savings.

Compared with conventional inductive loop detection, the 318 offers a real non-intrusive and cost-effective solution that eliminates the need to cut into the road surface, creating potential risks to wear from traffic and the weather.

Installers also benefit from not requiring expensive ducting activity away from the stop line to the ‘In’ and ‘X’ detection points, an activity that has traditionally prevented some sites benefiting from MOVA.

Dan Preece, executive engineer at Integrated Traffic Services, who has been involved in the trials, said, “The dual output version of the 318 radar is going to make a big difference to the amount of schemes that are able to be converted to MOVA operation, particularly in the urban/semi urban environment, where traditionally cost, services and available ducting has made the upgrade prohibitively expensive or simply not practical.”

Ian Hind, commercial director at AGD, added, “We are very happy with the feedback from the industry on the ‘318’ in support of these recent MOVA deployments. The ‘318’ is not what customers would identify with traditional radar, and as such is not subject to associated constraints.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).