Transport for London (TfL) is planning to launch a formal tender process in Spring 2019 for “Data-as-a-Service” provision of real time (< 60 secs latency) information on the capital’s road traffic – spanning general traffic, buses and freight – in a bid to help it unlock “significant” additional capacity on the road network.
A prior information notice (PIN) on a European tenders page reveals that the organisation, which last year supported 2.24 billion journeys across the capital, is hoping to identify a single supplier to deliver the services. It anticipates rolling out the service after a two-stage pilot process using historical and real time data.
TfL Traffic Data Plan Aims to Prioritise Those Walking, Cycling and Using Buses
The programme is part of TfL’s proposed Surface Intelligent Transport System (SITS) project.
First mooted in 2014, this aims to replace and upgrade TfL’s current traffic signal control and incident management systems across London’s busy road network, by harnessing data from existing detectors and other sources such as mobile phones, in a bid to reduce congestion and boost air quality.
Earlier documents from TfL say SITS will see TfL’s in-house traffic signal optimisation software replaced by a more modern one from a third-party provider: “The TfL traffic signal control system, which comprises the Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system and Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) traffic signal optimiser, will not be supported beyond November 2020” it notes.
SITS is TfL’s response to growing pressures upon the capacity of London’s road network and the need to deliver a “Healthy Streets Approach” through encouragement of sustainable, active, safe and efficient travel, TfL says: “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.”
SITS will be delivered across four main projects, one of which spans broader use of data to optimise traffic light management and other road services.
The PIN says the “Data-as-a-Service” component is “intended to improve TfLs understanding of the movement of road network users in a cost effective way through data and analytics.”
Data will be mapped to the “Network of Interest” which incorporates all ‘M’ and ‘A’ roads within and including M25, plus busy minor roads and bus routes, covering around 2,030 km of roads.
TfL said: “Real time (< 60 secs latency) journey time and speed data will enable TfL to generate information relating to delay/congestion and journey time reliability and should have the ability to transform the common geography so that two way direction of travel is represented and data is mapped to this dual direction network.”
TfL anticipates publishing a contract notice on February 28, 2019.