Traffic System in Virginia Automatically Responds to Emergencies

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has installed in the Tidewater region a traffic control system that monitors traffic flow and automatically can detect and report traffic emergencies to traffic control operators.

The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition traffic control system is being used on 11 miles of Interstate 64 for VDOT's Hampton Roads Bridge/Tunnel facility. It automatically reports emergencies to the traffic control center, and operators, using a graphical user interface, can control message signs and signals and obtain status reports from the system.

The GUI-based system replaces a push-button console-style system used by traffic control operators to regulate traffic.

The system was created and installed by Modcomp Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based supplier of real-time computer systems. The system connects to existing signal controllers via "custom intelligent modems" developed by the company.

The system enables all traffic regulation devices to be monitored and controlled. Operators access a menu of traffic control plans in order to respond to emergency situations.

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