Advantech Design

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Transcend

The Transcend is a versatile and powerful facility designed for the monitoring and control of motorway devices, and provided in a scaleable Area Traffic Control Management facility.

Transcend is designed to manage and control any combination of disparate field technologies, making it versatile and extensible.

Transcend supports management and control by means of a scaleable number of operator terminals. The design ensures that complete control of all facilities may be undertaken from a single fully Graphical-based User Interface.

Transcend screenshot - Section of Motorway Map

Figure 1 - Section of Motorway Map

Moreover, this multi-user interface system incorporates the important attribute to dynamically share information related to both field operation and operator control between all operator terminals. This critical design feature ensures that all operators remain fully informed about the actions they take, and also the activities currently being implemented by other operators, who may not necessarily be located within the same control centre.

Transcend provides a modular open-architecture that allows for new features to be easily adapted and integrated into the system. It performs this function by the interaction with a high-level message bus communications queuing system that allows new modules to be incorporated into the system at any time. These modules typically include:

  • Incident Detection,
  • Travel Time servers,
  • Incident Response Plan management
  • CCTV Management
  • Map Server
  • Traffic Data server
  • Operator Graphical User Interfaces
  • User Authorisation Management
  • Field Sign servers.

More importantly, the open-architecture and balanced design of Transcend allows for these modules to operate entirely from within a single computer system, or they can operate from within a number of interconnected (networked) computers. This provides the system manager with complete flexibility, and furthermore, ensures that a fail-over strategy can be easily maintained and implemented.

When the Transcend Graphical User Interface(s) automatically receives a message indicating that any one of these servers has started, or communications has been re-established, the Transcend GUI will immediately request an update of all of the configuration data provided by that server. This ensures that the current status of all field related equipment is always known to all operators.

Transcend is used to remotely control the Port River Expressway Bridges in Adelaide, South Australia

Transcend is used to remotely control the Port River Expressway in Adelaide, South Australia.

 

Transcend uses objects as the building blocks for all of its displays. The use of this design provides for a powerful and flexible facility whereby virtually any display can be made available on screen to match the field hardware. The available displays include:

  • Changeable Message Signs
  • Static Text Signs
  • Variable Message Signs
  • Matrix Signs
  • Graphical Scene

Figure 2 - Schematic of the system architecture

Transcend automatically learns about new field equipment as it is added to the motorway, and simple commands allow a privileged user to quickly establish the functionality provided by the field equipment as an object on the Transcend user interface.

More importantly, Transcend incorporates a powerful Incident Response Plan facility that allows operators to quickly and effectively monitor and manage incidents in the field.

The Response Plans within Transcend provide a method of automating complex actions that may be required to manage the road network in a consistent and pre-planned manner.

Responses to situations such as road closures due to accidents or road works can be pre-programmed with appropriate flexibility, and upon execution, the information is presented in an ordered regiment to allow an operator to step through the response plan procedure with a minimum of delay and error.

Response plans are selected with the use of a decision tree. Once the appropriate plan is selected the steps can be executed either one at a time or run until a blocking step occurs. Multiple Response Plans can be run at the same time. Response plans cater for conflict management, optional over-ride by a suitably privileged user, and as with all other features provided by Transcend, all actions and activities are broadcast across multiple operator terminals. This ensures that all operators are always fully informed of the status of the entire system.

The displays available to the operators are fully configurable, and with the powerful zoom capabilities that are incorporated into the user interfaces, several different levels of features are available for each field icon, depending on the current zoom level. This reduces screen clutter, making the system easy to learn and use.

The order in which the signs are presented on the displays can be changed so that in the case of overlap, the most important signs are drawn on top of signs of lesser importance. This is referred to as the stacking order. The stacking order can therefore be easily changed to prevent the display of any or all of the signs in a unique sign type or for any sign type.


Features such as incident markers can quickly be added to the displays by operators in response to a request for action / assistance from emergency services or members of public. When an operator adds an incident marker to the map display, these markers are automatically presented to other operators using the system.

Multiple Incident Markers are available from an easy-to-use menu system. These markers assist to quickly identify the type of incident / request being provided, and includes unique displays for:

  • Incidents
  • Accidents
  • Fire
  • Police
  • Ambulance

Response plans incorporate powerful and flexible features to allow actions such as management of unscheduled traffic diversions, driver advisory system displays, presentation of response plans maps of the city, activity timers, simultaneous operation of multiple response plans and automatic map zooming to the location in question.

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