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Thursday , 18 July 2024

SETTING BENCHMARK: HTMS on Outer Ring Road, Hyderabad

Traveller Information

Information about road, traffic and weather conditions will be provided to the drivers primarily using Variable Message Sign (VMS) boards. VMS boards will be used to disseminate information about incidents on the ORR and other hazards such as broken-down vehicles on the carriage way, and warn the drivers to drive with caution. In addition, the VMS boards will also be used as a platform to communicate messages promoting safe driving habits.

The VMS boards will support full-colour multi-media messages and they will be capable of displaying messages in English, Telugu and Hindi. As Hyderabad is located on the crossroads of North and South India and given the linguistic diversity of the population, the ability to display multilingual messages is an important requirement for the ORR. Telangana has a below average literacy rate compared to the national average and the ability to display messages pictorially is crucial to communicating messages effectively to the travelling public. Hence, the VMS boards for the ORR are superior to the standards stipulated by the NHAI on National Highways. The operators will be able to type in messages manually, put together a message on the fly using pre-defined phrases or select from a list of pre-approved messages available on the VMS system.

There are plans to provide traveller information through other channels, like SMSs, in-car navigation devices, web and mobile apps and Highway Advisory Radio (HAR), in the future. Features like congestion heatmaps and traffic jam cams are some of the ideas that would be under consideration.

Field Communication

The HTMS system will support two-way communication between the travellers and the TCC via Emergency Call Boxes (ECB) and between the TCC and patrol vehicles through mobile radios.

Emergency call boxes (ECBs): A number of ECBs will be installed along the ORR, on both sides, with access from the shoulders. ECBs will provide the means for travellers to reach out to the TCC and call for help during emergencies. The TCC emergency line will be manned 24×7 for the benefit of the travelling public. ECBs will support functions such as call receiving, transferring and location identification. Some stretches of the ORR go through areas that are currently sparsely populated and lack prominent visual landmarks. The location identification feature will enable TCC staff to quickly identify the location of the caller and quickly dispatch help – this feature will be especially helpful to the callers who are not familiar with the ORR.

Mobile radio: Two-way mobile radios are used for communication between field staff and TCC, and communication between different teams patrolling the ORR. This will be very useful for TCC staff to dispatch relevant field staff for providing assistance to the commuters using ORR.

Traffic Management

At the heart of any HTMS system is traffic management. Typically, highways are managed from a central control room called the Traffic Control Centre (TCC), located at a central location along the highway.

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