Custom Traffic Incident Management System (TIMs)

Digitizing Traffic Incident Management              

Egis Road & Tunnel Operations (ERTO) is the operating agent responsible for managing, recording, and reporting all incidents across the over 1,200 kilometres of motorway and dual carriageways in Ireland. They do this at the Motorway Operations Control Centre (MOCC) which is a state-of-the-art facility at the entrance of the Dublin tunnel. This centre is the beating heart of Ireland's motorway network operations and includes management aspects of the Dublin Port Tunnel and the Jack Lynch Tunnel. ERTO needed a customised software solution which would help them ensure that the 65 million+ vehicle journeys per annum that take place on the national motorway network are managed efficiently and incidents are addressed safely and quickly.
Traffic Incident Management Control Room
Traffic Incident Management Control Room

Digitizing Incident Record Keeping 

The operations control centre team were recording details of major traffic incidents, roadway debris, collisions, planned and unplanned road closures on internal paperwork. ERTO saw an opportunity to digitize the system in order to improve response times, ease the management of individual incidents, and improve record keeping. They also saw the potential of digital data to enable more insightful and sophisticated data analytics.

Coordinate Traffic Incidents Reliably, Efficently and Quickly

The communication of major incidents with multiple stakeholders including the Interagency Incident Coordination Group (IICG) which includes, An Garda Síochána (police); Fire Service; County Council's, with responsibility for the road networks, and the National Ambulance Service were being actioned by operators in the control centre over the phone. The client was eager to change to a digital system which would allow them to provide early notification of incidents and form a coordinated approach to the management of incidents on the road network. 

Bespoke Traffic Incident Software Development

The team at the Motorway Operations Control Centre needed a system which would allow them to manage incidents, communicate, share data with stakeholders in real-time, and collect data relating to road traffic incidents. They also needed to see the patterns being formed in this data in easy-to-understand dashboards, which can be searched as required to communicate, manage, and build upon their data intelligence.

Coordinating Incidents in Real Time

Operators needed a platform to log incidents, track responses, and record the outcome of all incidents across the motorway network 365 days a year. In addition to the Interagency Incident Coordination Group the Control centre personnel also need to inform road maintenance teams, local authorities, recovery operators, AA Roadwatch, Bus Éireann and other relevant stakeholders of incidents.

Communication & Coordination: 

  • Incident support coordination tool
  • Multi-agency communication tool
  • Emergency roadside telephone (ERT) interoperability
  • Alert system for severe weather and child rescue Ireland (CRI) alerts
  • Automatic Tweet generation tool which allows users to inform the public of ongoing incidents via TII Traffic

Autogenerated tweet from custom software solution

Autogenerated tweet from custom software solution

Connecting data sources:

  • Ability to Interface with multiple API’s and integrate data from external systems including traffic camera systems, weather station APIs, traffic counter systems etc....
  • Interface capability with variable message signs across the network

Reporting & data visualisation requirements: 

  • Reports per road
  • Reports per incident type
  • Incident response rates analysis
  • Data visualisation dashboards
  • Visualisation of Geolocation data
  • Historical data collection
  • Custom reporting capabilities such as heatmaps
  • Standardised automated monthly reporting

Bespoke Traffic Incident Management Software Solution

In weekly collaboration meetings with the client and their operatives OpenApps system architect, project manager, designers, data developers, QA and UX (user experience) teams sat down and discussed the development of a traffic incident management system (TIMs) called the Motorway Traffic Control Centre Incident Management System. The first phase of the development was the requirements gathering and planning stage, this was shortly followed by design and prototyping, development, quality assurance, testing and deployment.

The web-based platform allows the operations team at the Motorway Operations Control Centre to record, manage, and document all relevant incidents across the network by inputting the details into the bespoke software system.

Customised Incident Management Workflow

When traffic incident occurs on the road network, operators need to react in accordance with the type and complexity of the incident. The system was developed to split incidents into different categories. This makes it easy for operators to ensure that the appropriate people and protocols are followed for reliable and fast resolutions. Each incident category has a custom workflow based on the variety of situations that arise, this enables operators to reliably provide appropriate care to ensure motorist welfare and ensure that the safety of the people responding to incidents is managed. 

The incident categories are:

  • Customer care platform with geographical information system
  • Major incidents management tool
  • Standard incident management
  • Emergency road telephone incident management system
  • Weather incident management and communication tool
  • Alert system for severe weather and Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) alerts
Screenshot of dashboard showing Traffic Incident Management System
Screenshot of dashboard showing Traffic Incident Management System

Managing Road space & Resources

  • Incident management tool to detect, respond to, and clear incidents
  • Facility for managing the road network as incidents occur
  • Booking system for road space, resource management and event management
  • Geographic location tool for managing and pinpointing resources across the network (E.g. Emergency roadside telephone, road markings, cameras, weather stations etc)

Digitized workflows enable traffic incident analysis

The platform helps the client to safeguard the safety and resilience of the road network and optimize traffic flow by bringing the benefits of technology to traffic incident management.

The system was built to cater for the wide-ranging and complex requirements of the operations control centre. The system has been continuously improved upon over the last 10 years with several added functionalities. The platform has collected 1000s of incidents across the vast network of roads for over a decade. All this information feeds into concise, easy to understand and user focused dashboards which help the client and its management team make informed decisions.

The Irish Independent reported 

  • From 1088 incidents on the M50 399 were collisions
  • The majority of incidents on the M50 happen between junction 5 Finglas and junction 9 Red Cow
  • Most collisions happen at rush hour between the hours of 4 and 5 pm
  • The majority of incidents on the M50 are rear-end collisions

OpenApp provides the client with continuous software maintenance and a service level agreement which includes access to a multidisciplinary service desk that’s available to support the operations team. This enables the national system to perform optimally and maintain rigorous uptime 24/7/365. We also provide ongoing software development to augment the system.

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