The Ayalon Highways Control Center

For your service *8541

Ayalon Highways - Route 20

 

  • Each weekday the Ayalon Highways road network sees an average of some 850 thousand vehicles. Ayalon Highways serves as a rapid metropolitan thruway for millions of those residing in the Tel Aviv Metropolis and Gush Dan region.

 

  • Ayalon Highways is among the best roadway networks in Israel. The road has been paved according to the highest possible standards and enjoys excellent supervision and maintenance. The road is constructed as a suburban highway with 3-5 lanes in each direction, from the Herzliya Interchange in the north until the Kibbutz Galuyot in the east, and the Holot Interchange in the south.

 

  • January 2000 saw the start of operations of the Traffic Control System in the central segment of Ayalon Highways. The system is the first of its kind in the country. Leading and experienced companies in the field, from Israel and abroad, planned and constructed the system. Systems such as these are installed along most thruways and highways in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

 

  • Today a full array of CCTV cameras align the Ayalon Highways and provide coverage of the entire roadway.

 

.

The Ayalon Highways Control Center:

Traffic Control System

The Control Room works 24/7 and handles over 4,000 incidents a year. Today's use of Ayalon Highways is approaching its maximum utilization; any decrease in the road's capacity is liable to lead to a sharp drop in highway driving speeds until the traffic is halted. An accident or disruption in one lane can immediately reduce the entire roadway's capacity by more than 50%. Therefore, the Control Center's primary task is to locate, handle, and quickly evacuate any disruptions along the highway (accidents, stalled vehicles, and the like). Rapid response and evacuation of disruptive factors reduce traffic disturbances and the chance of an accident. Moreover, quick identification of accidents shortens response times of emergency services and assists in saving lives.

Lane Control

is the effort to provide safe driving conditions for those using the Ayalon Highways; electronic traffic signs are posted above the lanes and notify any lane closure because of roadwork or incidents along the route. The posting of these signs raises highway safety and allows drivers to switch lanes safely and comfortably. During peak hours, the electronic traffic signs provide an early warning to the driver concerning any congestion and obstacles ahead, enabling a gradual speed reduction and reducing the chance of an accident. The system calculates the optimal travel speed to facilitate maximum road utilization ("smooth traffic") and posts the travel speed on the electronic traffic signs. The directions contribute to optimal utilization of the highway and prevent sharp changes in speed that are liable to cause accidents.

Coordinating and Collaborating

The control room works in collaboration with multiple entities such as the Israel National Police, Magen David Adom, Netivei Israel, the Tel Aviv Municipality, the Fast Lane Project, Route 431, IEC, Israel Railways, NTA, and several additional urban resident service centers to exchange information and coordinate control activities.

 

Traffic Light Coordination

Cooperation with the Traffic Light Control Center of the Tel Aviv Municipality aids in reducing lines accumulating at the highway's exits, which are liable to cause roadway lane blockages.   

 

Information Distribution

The Control Center distributes current and reliable information concerning traffic conditions through electronic signage, radio, and an internet website. The center cooperates to distribute the information with the various television networks, Waze, and communications companies. The information allows the driver to select the best possible route, which will shorten travel time as much as possible.

.

The Ayalon Highways Traffic Control System - How does it work?

The Ayalon Highways traffic control system operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The system combines a series of means to collect data, including road detectors and cameras, a manned control center, an information distribution system, and an advanced communications network. The system contains advanced computer systems under the control of a team of experienced operators charged with deciding the correct modus operandi for each situation. Below is a list of the system's components:

 

The Control Center

The Control Center is the heart of the system and contains all the means and measures required to manage the traffic. Each operator station is equipped with a central computer terminal, a camera command system, telephone, and radio communication devices. A video wall displays the visual feed received from the cameras, and an electronic map shows real-time data obtained through the data collection system. Upon receiving an alert concerning an exceptional incident, the Control Center becomes an Operations Center, connected directly to the emergency operations centers (police, MDA, and the Fire Services), and additional control centers. The operator utilizes the cameras at his control to investigate the incident's character, and if necessary, activate the information signage and traffic signs posted along the road. He can also call on the appropriate entities to handle the incident and prevent a situation of delays or blockages on the road.

 

Communications Network 

The communications network connects the highway's information collection system to the Control Center. The network is based on Ethernet technology and includes a fiber-optic network.

 

Data Collection System

Sixty (60) station detectors gather information from approximately 500 electronic Loop Detectors buried along the roadway's width at intervals of approximately 500 meters and supply ongoing information concerning the traffic's characteristics: traffic volume, travel speed, the types of vehicles and their density. Data is reported every five minutes and processed in the central computer, which identifies changes in the traffic's flow and issues an alert.

 

Control Cameras

Close to fifty (50) close circuit television cameras are posted at key locations and supply full coverage of the highway activity. The operator controls the cameras, which are intended solely to control and monitor traffic conditions and manage exceptional incidents until the roadway is cleared, without any role in law enforcement.

 

Alternative Signs

Special signage gantries are posted along the highway and contain electronic traffic signs controlled by the Control Center. Each traffic sign refers to the travel lane beneath it and enables displaying the permitted travel speed in the lane, cautions against traffic jams, lane closure, and instructions concerning safe lane transfer. The traffic signs were approved for use by the Ministry of Transport and obligate the driver like any regular traffic signs.

 

Alternating Traffic Signs

Special signage gantries are posted along the highway and contain electronic traffic signs controlled by the Control Center. Each traffic sign refers to the travel lane beneath it and enables displaying the permitted travel speed in the lane, cautions against traffic jams, lane closure, and instructions concerning safe lane transfer. The traffic signs were approved for use by the Ministry of Transport and obligate the driver like any regular traffic signs.

 

"Expert System"

A unique expert system at the Control Center interprets the information received from the detectors, from the standpoint of traffic conditions, monitors their development, and recommends to the operator an action strategy, including detailed notifications and traffic signs that should be displayed in the overhead signage system. The decision of whether to accept or modify the plan lays in the hands of the operator.

 

Information Distribution System

Besides immediate reports to highway users, current traffic conditions are distributed to radio stations and additional channels. Information concerning predicted disruptions due to roadwork is distributed in advance to the media.

The Control Center updates and exchanges information with the Control Centers maintained by the police, Netivei Israel, and the Tel Aviv Municipality Traffic Light Control Center.