On August 25, 2021, the first countdown traffic lights for pedestrians went live at the main train station of Bern. For the time being, a test run lasting several weeks is scheduled during the evening peak hours. A LED circle shows the time remaining until the traffic light turns to green.
The challenge in this project was the predictability, as the intersection runs a traffic-dependent vs | plus control and not a fixed time control. Therefore the exact timing may vary from one cycle to another. With an estimate calculated at runtime, a prediction is determined and a corresponding number of LED display elements are switched to dark. The forecast is corrected every second up to the switching time. This novel and innovative algorithm was developed in collaboration with Rudolf Keller & Partner Verkehrsingenieure AG and will be further optimized after the first operational observations.
The aim of the countdown traffic light is to increase traffic safety by ensuring that pedestrians wait for the green time and do not start walking when it the traffic light is still showing red. The traffic behavior is now being observed in a trial run lasting several months.
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