PTV Vissim Interface with PC MOVA: A Powerful Combination
For many decades traffic engineers around the world have been designing and implementing traffic control technology to improve safety, minimise delays and improve journey times. Adaptive traffic signals technology that changes green lights at junctions depending on traffic flows, has been one of the most useful and effective traffic control tools for smoothening traffic flows and making best use of road capacity in our cities.
The UK has been at the forefront of development and innovation of traffic control technology. The “Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA)” originally designed by TRL during the 1980s is now a very well-established strategy for the control of traffic lights at isolated junctions and pedestrian crossings. “Having junctions under MOVA control helps improve the user’s experience and is proven to improve traffic flows” says TRL Software’s leading MOVA expert Mark Crabtree. In summary, MOVA changes traffic signal green times based on the traffic flow conditions, from very low flows through to junctions that are overloaded. Many of UK’s isolated traffic signal junctions are equipped with MOVA control.
PTV has more than 40 years’ experience in transport modelling to accurately predict the movement of people and goods. In more than 2,500 cities globally, including many in the UK, transport infrastructure and control is being optimised with the help of PTV transport modelling software. For example, PTV Vissim microsimulation tool simulates the movement of all types of vehicles – cars, scooters, lorries, buses, trams and cyclists, pedestrians and even Connected and Autonomous Vehicles too. The PTV Vissim output, considered as a “digital twin”, represents how a junction operates in real life with every user, either on the pavement and carriageway or in separated lanes, such as cycle lanes.
For more than a decade TRL has been in partnership with PTV Group in traffic control optimisation. For the benefit of planning and designing MOVA junctions more effectively in a computerised environment and in simulation software, TRL has developed a computer version of the MOVA traffic control system named PC MOVA. The PC MOVA software contains the MOVA adaptive signal control algorithm in a secure programme and software code that can be interfaced with a simulation software such as PTV Vissim. The latest version of PC MOVA 3 currently operates with PTV Vissim microsimulation software.
PTV Vissim Visualisation of Junction Delays on Each Approach
When the two pieces of software PTV Vissim and TRL Software’s PC MOVA are put together they become extremely powerful, because they are capable of simulating the junction geometry and adaptive nature of both traffic conditions and traffic signal control at the same time. In this way, it is possible to test different traffic signal control plans and different settings for the MOVA system. Before implementing the MOVA system at a junction in real life, traffic engineers can test the plans and designs for the junction and MOVA system in a computerised environment inside a PTV Vissim simulation, at the comfort of the office. This provides multiple benefits such as:
- Time and cost savings for scheme design
- Improved safety by minimising site visits
- Improved optimisation via scenario testing
- Stakeholder engagement via powerful visualisation
- Combined scheme and signals assessment
- Connected and Autonomous Vehicles research
PTV Vissim Visualisation of Detector Occupancy Rates
PTV Group and TRL Software have established a close partnership together for more than a decade and are committed to supporting our joint clients in the application of PTV Vissim and PC MOVA for traffic control optimisation. In general, there are many opportunities for a closer collaboration between the Traffic Signal Engineers and Transport Planners & Simulation Modellers in jointly improving the plan and design of transport infrastructure as well as traffic control and management technology applications. Such a close collaboration can help us to achieve a sustainable approach by making the best out of our existing roads without having to pour in more concrete to create additional capacity.