As part of the Smart City initiative, Hamilton City Council (HCC) approached Aware Group looking for a solution to surface and display a real-time view of all available transport data from multiple systems in a centralised location, including traffic data, incidents and alerts.
Together, we developed the Transport Data Analytics Platform (TDAP); a real-time, interactive web-based dashboard which identifies abnormal transport trends and sends alerts for urgent/validated incidents to the HCC Transport Operations team.
Hamilton City Council’s transport operators had to interface with multiple systems in order to monitor the transport network, identify infrastructure faults, and obtain traffic data. This process was cumbersome and caused data to be hard to correlate across systems.
Manually monitoring data across multiple screens was proving to be inefficient, and the limited situational awareness resulted in an average time of 102 minutes for identification and response of unplanned incidents on the transport network.
The TDAP dashboard uses an API to receive data from a bespoke application which was written to read the log files for HCC’s traffic light system (SCATS) which provides live traffic volumes and traffic signal faults. This data is combined with other 3rd party data sources, such as traffic congestion (AddInsight), HCC’s customer complaint system, and live bus data (Waikato Regional Council bus network) and displayed in a real-time web portal overlaid on a map visual of the city.
Alert logic is configured using key thresholds within each data source, and when an abnormality is detected this is displayed on the map visual of the city. These alerts represent issues such as high congestion, traffic light fault codes and live locations of buses. These alerts are also logged which provides a history of the patterns in traffic incidents to be used in future incident predictions.
Any alert or combination of alerts can be configured to send notifications to the HCC transport systems team, allowing proactive and timely responses to significant events.
Since TDAP has launched, the average time for identification and response to unplanned transport network incidents is now 20x faster, reducing from 102 minutes to an average of 5 minutes.
TDAP supports proactive transport network monitoring and management, while also generating efficiencies in staff time; consolidating information that would normally be monitored manually on multiple computer screens.
The platform’s log functionality provides a centralised history of incidents and what action has been taken, and easily shows work that is still required.
The benefits of the system were also apparent during the COVID-19 lockdown. Being web based and mobile friendly, HCC staff were able to use TDAP to monitor the network and traffic signal faults from home; ensuring Hamilton transport network management continued as normal.
TDAP will also simplify the addition of new traffic management systems, allowing new system data to be added and reducing the overhead required to monitor new systems as they are introduced.