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Traffic Data User Interface

Visualising live traffic on key roads for safe and efficient infrastructure

Traffic data user interface image
The challenge

Traffic management on roads worldwide has primarily been a reactive operation. The average British driver in 2019 spent 115 hours stuck in traffic, estimated to have cost the country £6.9 billion. (Brits spent an average of 115 hours stuck in traffic last year - Cambridgeshire Live ( Until now the focus to reduce the impact of traffic has been on reducing the reaction time for queues to be cleared – however this only impacts the symptoms of the event.

Proactive management before traffic builds up has not been possible for two major reasons. The first is a lack of real time data. Traditional technologies such as loops or side-fire radar detect congestion only when it has formed for a great enough distance to cover the sensor location. As a consequence of this, the second reason for mainly reactive management is that there are few organisations with plans in place to reduce traffic as it builds up in real time.

To counter the first challenge, and allow real-time reaction, Navtech has developed a live Traffic Data User Interface (UI) using data from our existing systems. This makes use of the high-quality, wide-area radar sensors to present the positions of all vehicles on the road in real time.

How does it work?

The new solution builds on the trusted performance of ClearWay and our radar performance in all weather and light conditions. The Traffic Data UI presents the live vehicle positions as icons in place on the road. These show locations on both a map and a stylised schematic. By also inputting relevant points of information (POIs) this allows a general overview of performance of all aspects of a road. Examples include the average speed and traffic density on a section-by-section basis.

ClearWay Traffic User Interface Screenshot

ClearWay Traffic User Interface Screenshot

  • Live vehicle positions
  • Simple interface
  • Speed and density heatmaps
  • Points of information shown in position
  • Automatic positioning on alarms

As a system in continuous use, operator understanding is at the heart of the Traffic Data UI. In the event of an incident a simplified screen is available as part of Emergency Situational Awareness – allowing easy sharing of key incident data with emergency responders. An integrated approach based on common understanding of a situation is key for rapid, accurate response.

Expected technical performance

  • Minimal additional infrastructure
  • Clear visualisation of live data
  • Real-time road management
  • Effective in all conditions

Customer feedback and testing

Initial feedback has focused on the key benefits in understanding overall road performance for road operators, and the ability to correlate the UI with the alarms raised. This impact will soon be validated with installations in two key test tunnels that will allow hands-on use by leading road authorities.

Navtech highway radar

Navtech's highway CTS 350 radar

About ClearWay

An intelligent transport systems solution, ClearWay provides continuous, real-time industry-leading accuracy and low false-alarm rates. Proven to work in the most demanding situations and conditions all over the world, we provide continuous monitoring of all activities on the highway.

"We regularly see in operations centres the difference our real-time alarms make to the ability of road operators to do their work effectively. By providing an easy to use visual of vehicle location alongside our alarms I’m excited that we can take the next step in maximising the value of some of the world’s most advanced sensors!"

ITS Product Manager, Navtech Radar

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Article first published: 16/01/2023

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