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December 10, 2019

TfL Launches First SITS Tender, as it Aims for Dynamic, Data-Driven Traffic Management

Data will be delivered via an API into TfL’s wider SITS architecture

By CBR Staff Writer

Transport for London (TfL) is going to market with the first data contract of its ambitious Surface Intelligent Transport System (SITS) project.

SITS, as reported by Computer Business Review early in 2019, is a project to replace and upgrade TfL’s traffic signal control and incident management systems across London’s busy road network, allowing it greater control over traffic flows.

SITS will harness data from existing detectors and other sources such as mobile phones, in a bid to reduce congestion and boost air quality.

SITS: TfL Journey Time Data Project Gets Legs

In a £1.5 contract notice published this week,  TfL — which supports over 4 billion journeys each year — said it wants a near real-time data ingestion service of vehicle journeys on the capital’s roads.

This project is being dubbed Data-as-a-Service – Journey Time Data (DaaS-JTD). Data from TfL’s “Common Operational Road Network (CORN)” procured under the contract will act as a “critical base data layer for TfL and will be used to support and validate existing data and future datasets.”

TfL said it wants to buy a data set that:

1) Covers the CORN in its entirety;

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2) Is snapped to a GIS definition of the road network provided by TfL based on OS Highways;

3) Is delivered via an API into TfL’s wider SITS architecture;

4) Provides a feed of the required data in as close to real-time as possible (but within 3 minutes of the end of each 5 minute interval as a minimum); and

5) Offers innovative options, including for modal split (between cars, freight, private hire vehicles, etc.) and a delayed secondary feed of enriched data (including all processing, patching, etc.) where beneficial.

See also: TfL Planning iBus2: Complete Revamp of Bus Connectivity

TfL notes that one of the big constraints of the contact for a supplier will be delivering these capabilities within the existing infrastructure that TfL has in place, as they note that “no new on-street infrastructure shall be installed.”

The winning supplier will not required be to provide a data platform for the project as TfL expects to be able to handle all of the analytics and processing of raw data by using ‘other internal databases’. TfL wants to have the data service capabilities installed and operational with 90 days of the project starting.

TfL Journey Time Data

TfL Journey Time Data

Credit: Bruno Vieira via Unsplash

TfL expects the broader SITS project to deliver £1 billion in customer benefits by 2036.

A late 2016; TfL document states that the SITS project: “In addition to replacing systems which will no longer be supported from November 2020, the programme will use an integrated suite of new systems and tools to transform TfL’s capability to understand and manage operations on the road network.”

TfL is currently enacting its five year business plan and have reduced net cost of operations by 66 percent since 2015/16. The Network generates more than £10 billion in income and funding each year.

SITS will allow TfL to “prioritise people who are walking, cycling and using buses, and will also provide the capability for TfL to unlock significant additional capacity on the road network”, the company said.

See Also: This New Rendering Framework Lets Neural Networks Turn 2D Images 3D

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