Project Centre/TRL Host Event

Project Centre/TRL Host Event

It was our pleasure to host as well as be part of a series of speakers alongside TRL and Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) last Thursday! Featuring three unique presentations, each speaker focused on the use of technology to forward innovations in the world of transport.

Starting off, Product Owner at TRL Anthony Hoffe spoke on ‘The Future of Urban Traffic Control is Data’. Transport Research Laboratory, or TRL, is a world leading technology and research provider who focus on mobility innovations. Anthony took us through the work they are currently doing in Greater Manchester which involves managing their transport network and improving traffic management in the third biggest network behind London and Birmingham. Utilising their own real-time signal control software, SCOOT7, they are able to reduce costs and improve traffic management by the process of creating open systems and open data.

For TRL, open data is the key to innovations. Utilising existing infrastructure to collaborate information across different areas, such as Waze and other applications, they are able to create a multi-modal transport system that is influenced and inspired by a wide range of sources that provide vital data for improving mobility. They are also utilising their own technology, such as above and below ground radar sensors to fill in the missing pieces other sources leave behind.

Next, we had our own Principal Traffic Engineer Allan Evans, Senior Traffic Modeller Sam Asare and Principal Traffic Modeller Ebenezer Harris who spoke on ‘Designing Signals for Cyclists’. They took our attendees through the different processes and signal types that we employee to tailor each solution to the location required. We use modelling software for junction network improvement, congestion reduction, bus prioritisation and town centre regeneration.

For example, our work on Lea Bridge Road focused on cyclist impact by using several different styles of crossing, such as Copenhagen crossing, Parallel Cycle crossing and Bus Stop Bypass which resulted in miles of cycle track without traffic conflict all by using modelling tools and optimising signal usage for both pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. As a result, what was once a dangerous area for cyclists has become a pleasant and seamless journey experience.

Lastly, we heard from Head of Technical Consulting James Long at SMLL who spoke on ‘Taking a systems approach to support the deployment of new mobility modes in complex urban environments’. At SMLL, they focus on data driven design, de-risk service delivery and network operation improvement as well as connectivity, local behaviours and technologies twined with architecture. Their equipment includes installing fixed monitoring sites that sends data to dedicated hubs and control rooms. Their open architecture vehicles are also utilised by mapping out areas and linking real-world behaviour to software that generates accurate 3D models capable of running simulations to help inform decisions of what processes will work for the given area. These vehicles that provide the data are also fully autonomous.

Their Head of Network, Thomas Tompkin, gave us a tour of their offices and showed us the various technology and workshops they utilise to maintain their vehicles as well as the control room which receives all the data collected by their cameras and vehicles.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part, and we can’t wait to see what innovations arise from our peers fascinating talks. Watch the webinar here.