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Modernisation of traffic control equipment

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Traffic light signals (TL) are an essential component of local and regional traffic controlling. The management of this very extensive equipment is an important task of the owners. Modernisation means the renewal of components or systems on a higher level of quality than up to now. It depends on the actual conditions and economic aspects. From a certain time it is more suitable to renew components than to buy them new.


The research project has the purpose to take up theoretical and practical questions of the traffic lights modernisation and to compile suggestions and recommendations.

The project will include also the development of traffic-technical and economic decisive criteria according to which modernisation measures can be planned and be realised. Furthermore the connection between the system state, investment value and cost development are taken into consideration. In addition, generally valid basic conditions of the introduction of new technologies should be investigated in existing systems and be adapted specifically to TL. Main trends in technique and technology will be described. The project results will also show how TL- operator can introduce new products and procedures certainly in the practise. The purpose of the research project exists in the creation of norm bases. These should support the operators of TL with the fulfilment of the previous tasks.


The research will take place within three steps: detailed practical investigation of TL - to modernisation examples; comparison of scientific and practical knowledge for the integration of new technologies in the existing systems; and description of main trends in technique and technology.

Objective decisive criteria and assessment criteria, which will be used to check whether a modernisation of the TL is acceptable technically and economically under specific local conditions, will be developed. New technical solutions must not be introduced in every case urgently. They often require longer time to practise suitability and a sphere capable of innovation. Therefore, practical tips are compiled by laws and norms for the introduction of new components.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The main result of the project is creation of general guidelines for traffic lights modernization. The guidelines show how this process should be included in maintenance management (bottom up - approach). It is proposed to first roughly assess, whether a modernization would be necessary or expedient. For this purpose operational, economic and technical criteria were defined and listed in detail.

For the detailed assessment of selected criteria, five work steps were determined and included in a flow chart. Their application should be integrated in a database, especially for larger stocks.

In guidelines conclusions, tips for safe traffic and operation during modernization of TL are given and the proposal also provides information on traffic- technical maintenance.


Stefan Grahl, Ruedi Bütler: Verkehrsregelungssysteme – Modernisierung von Lichtsignalanlagen / Modernisation des feux de signalisation / Modernisation of traffic control systems. Forschungsauftrag VSS 2008/303 auf Antrag des Schweizerischen Verbandes der Strassen- und Verkehrsfachleute. Oktober 2010

Innovation aspects

Integration of new technologies in existing systems and description of main trends in technique and technology. Working standardisation recommendations are deduced using the project results.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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