Powering the Future of Mobility with SCOOT Adaptive Traffic Control

No one likes a delay in their commute. We live our lives down to the very minute and expect traffic to be as reliable as a cup of coffee. So when traffic crawls through every intersection or grinds to a halt, it’s no surprise that drivers try to maneuver their way out of the situation.

What if technology had the power to make everyone’s commute consistently predictable?

In a recent webinar, we examine the benefits SCOOT provides to a modern traffic network. Western Systems Kai Antrim, Territory Manager, and Zach Hoiting, Sales Manager, lead the conversation on how real-time adaptive signal analysis works and how to implement the future of traffic mobility into your community today.

What is SCOOT?

Siemen’s SCOOT is a real-time traffic model designed to continuously measure traffic demand on all approaches to intersections within a network in order to optimize signal timings at each intersection to increase traffic flow and reduce delays and stops.

The purpose of SCOOT is to predict congested states on the traffic network (in other words, your intersections) in order to better optimize your traffic infrastructure with a goal to improve traffic flow around the clock, every day of the year.

SCOOT is an acronym that stands for Split Cycle and Offset Optimization Technique. Essentially, it has three optimizers: the split, the cycle and the offset.

How SCOOT Works

Detectors set up at every intersection continuously monitor the flow of cars arriving at each traffic signal. SCOOT analyzes data from both stop bar detection to verify where traffic stops or delays occur and advance detection to measure the extent of the congestion across the traffic network.

Upon evaluation of this real-time data, SCOOT adjusts the timing at every traffic light by transmitting commands to all controllers at every second with the updated calculated times. These time changes are often small yet frequent in order to rapidly respond to changing traffic conditions.

SCOOT ensures that your splits, cycles and offsets are in line with moving traffic across all applicable streets. This adaptive signal operation analyzes your traffic network holistically, gauging for moments where gating traffic is needed to prevent intersection congestion or overcrowding freeway ramps.

Benefits of SCOOT

Traffic mobility impacts everyone that shares the road, whether or not you are behind the wheel. From a pedestrian crossing the street to an emergency vehicle on an urgent mission, SCOOT provides more benefits beyond its ability to maintain steady traffic patterns.

Reduces Congestion

SCOOT’s real-time algorithm maximizes the use of available capacity by analyzing the current traffic situation. This allows for cars to keep moving forward at a steady pace and prevents speed up/slow down traffic patterns. SCOOT also features a saturation mode designed to optimize signal timings to help reduce the duration of traffic during high-peak times and saturated periods.

Reduces Time Travel

Unexpected delays at one intersection can impact traffic across your network. SCOOT’s dynamic algorithm reduces stops and delays by reacting to current traffic patterns in order to improve travel times. SCOOT adapts to rapidly changing traffic conditions, so that travel times stay stable, no matter the time of day or time of year.

Improve Road Safety

SCOOT’s primary goal in optimizing offsets is to reduce overall delay. And a reduction in the number of stops leads to a reduced probability of rear-end collisions. This occurs because SCOOT’s algorithm takes into account the activity across all intersections, so it recalculates and adjusts the offsets at prior intersections to avoid unexpected stops later down the road.

Support Bus Rapid Transit

SCOOT’s algorithm improves bus progression by implementing phased reductions and extensions as well as exclusive transit phases so that buses are more likely to arrive at stops and stations on schedule. SCOOT has the ability to support advanced BRT operation by using a data feed from a transit system in order to provide selective TSP (based on occupancy and schedule). SCOOT can also support rapid transit and light rail priority interfacing at both local and system levels.

Protect Pedestrians

SCOOT recalculates intersections to support and protect pedestrians in a variety of situations. SCOOT adds in extra time for large groups to cross the street without impacting traffic light timing for future rounds. When a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, SCOOT sends a command so that drivers see a flashing yellow arrow in warning of a crossing pedestrian. SCOOT also supports the ability to start the ped timer before the right turn light to reduce the ped collisions and fatalities.

Watch this webinar to discover more benefits of Siemens SCOOT.

Western Systems offers the latest adaptive signal operation platforms like SCOOT to support all your needs for the ITS environment. Our world-class technical support team offers assistance by phone, email and online webinars as well as optional onsite field services. Western Systems is proud to partner with Siemens, who shares our commitment to optimize signal timing and improving traffic flow so that your team implements the best adaptive traffic control products and solutions.