Simulation of intelligent traffic control systems promises better flow of traffic on the N201 road

19 September 2018

The first simulation results with intelligent traffic lights on the N201 road are promising: the flow of traffic between Uithoorn and Vreeland can be improved by up to 25%. Intelligent traffic control systems can recognise oncoming traffic via apps and navigation systems, and can respond to real-time traffic volume. Goedopweg uses intelligent traffic control systems to improve the flow of traffic in order to keep the Utrecht region liveable and accessible.

Simulation tests were performed in collaboration with supplier Dynniq. Jaco van Veldhuijsen, smart mobility technical manager at Goedopweg, was there. “I was surprised to see how traffic can become much more fluid as a result of the smart network control, reducing the build-up of traffic at busy intersections.”

Less travel time

Goedopweg had a simulation test performed in order to get an idea of the potential of intelligent traffic lights at the N201 road between Uithoorn and Vreeland. Based on the current traffic volume during morning and evening rush hour, the waiting times with the current traffic lights were measured to see what improvement the intelligent traffic lights can bring in this respect.

The test shows that the intelligent traffic lights reduce waiting times in both directions by 15% during morning rush hour and by 25% during evening rush hour. This can save travellers on the N201 road more than five minutes in travel time! This saving is realised mainly because intelligent traffic lights at the eleven intersections are better attuned to one another and anticipate oncoming traffic better. This also limits unnecessary start and stop movements, also saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

The simulation shows that the waiting time has been reduced particularly near the N201 Hofland intersection at the Mijdrecht hotel. This is also where the build-up of traffic from Uithoorn in the direction of Mijdrecht is considerably less during evening rush hour. The waiting times near other intersections mostly stay the same or show a slight improvement.

Rollout on the street

Since the first simulation results are promising, the supplier of the intelligent traffic lights, Dynniq, will be installing the traffic lights at the N201 road from September onwards. The traffic lights at the first three intersections have already been converted. On 18 September, the control systems there will be equipped with the new software. After all eleven traffic control systems have been adjusted, Goedopweg will of course also measure the effects on the flow of traffic in practice.

Road freight traffic pilot

In the context of Talking Traffic, Goedopweg is also starting a pilot on the N201 road in October to demonstrate that it is possible to improve the flow of local road freight traffic. This is done by adding a special feature in the app to the on-board equipment in lorries of Brouwer Transport. This enables intelligent traffic lights to see the lorries coming and subsequently extend the time that the light is green in order to limit start and stop movements, reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate noise pollution. This pilot is part of the Talking Traffic pilots for goods transport, emergency services and public transport. In the coming months, such pilots will also be carried out in other regions for other target groups.

Positive simulation results in Helmond and pilot in Noord-Holland

In September, Helmond started using Sweco’s Smart Traffic system, which combines data from GPS signals, induction loops and cameras. In this case, too, the system determines which “green phase” is best for the intersection at that moment on the basis of real-time traffic volumes. The expected reduction of waiting times is 22% and the expected reduction of CO2 emissions is 15% at most.