Introducing Flowtack: the traffic optimisation solution

Now more than ever, a smooth and safe flow of traffic within cities is vital. Across the globe, city councils and transport authorities face the difficult challenge of keeping traffic moving safely whilst increasing accessibility and improving liveability. When traffic does flow smoothly and efficiently, the benefits extend beyond road users and can bring a significant reduction in pollution levels, ensuring cleaner air in our cities.

Launched in 2017, Flowtack is an award-winning solution designed by Royal HaskoningDHV. The innovative solution collates and analyses traffic data in real-time, forecasting and optimising traffic flows at the network level.

Flowtack allows traffic to flow smoothly and efficiently, creating a greener, cleaner city with greater control for city authorities.


Improving traffic management for safer traffic flow

Traffic management involves the use of many applications to keep traffic flowing safely on today’s busy networks. A key part of this, involves utilising open data from inductive loops, traffic sensors, apps and cars with satellite navigation. 

Flowtack is a cloud-based software that combines all these open source data to assess the traffic condition and control traffic lights at the network level to optimise the flow of traffic in and around the city.

Not only can Flowtack prevent unnecessary braking through seamless management of the traffic network, it can also reduce idling at traffic lights – easing congestion and creating a greener, cleaner city.

Flowtack is also platform-agnostic which means that there is no risk of a vendor lock-in – not now and not in the future. Future developments are simply a case of a software update, replacing the need to make mechanical changes to individual traffic lights at the control box.

Flowtack's proven impact

  • 30-40% reduction in the number of vehicles having to stop at junctions

  • Reduction in CO2 emissions by between 7-18%

  • Reducing nitrogen oxide by over 11-26%  

Deventer became the first municipality in the Netherlands to implement a future-proof approach to traffic management and benefited from Flowtack’s proven impact.

These intelligent traffic light installations (iTLIs) also serve to enable the municipality’s policies of stimulating public transport and in turn, creating a city with less pollution. To highlight Flowtack’s tactical benefit it was deployed to prioritise public transport and give preference to certain groups of road users – for example, emergency services or a group of cyclists in the rain.

Flowtack in Liverpool

Safer routes

In Liverpool, safety was a major concern along key traffic routes, and our study identified a range of infrastructure improvements to improve travel conditions. We found 17% of the roads cause 72% of the delays, so these routes could be strategically targeted to have a big impact at a low cost. The result? The benefit-to-cost ratios (BCR) were as much as 3.47 times the level of investment needed.

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Optimising traffic flows in Deventer

Part of the Cleantech region, this pilot demonstrated how Flowtack optimises traffic flows in and around the city of Deventer to create liveable cities with less pollution. Deventer has since expanded the delivery of Flowtack from an initial 24 to 39 intersections, with the full roll out ready in 2020.

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Flowtack in Argyll and Bute

Improving access in Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute Council (ABC) have appointed Royal HaskoningDHV to assist them with updating their Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system. With mobility in the area undergoing a seismic shift and the need to improve local bus services, the Council planners must keep their towns and communities accessible and people moving while also facing the challenges of improving the environment. Royal HaskoningDHV has demonstrated how it is possible to shape the mobility system of tomorrow and improve travel conditions in Argyll and Bute roads by using new technology and the revolutionary, award-winning Flowtack system.

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Flowtack – smart city technology for a liveable tomorrow 

Transport authorities and city planners: integrated transport planning and policies
For policymakers and city leaders, Flowtack enables transport to be integrated with other policies such as low emission zones, ultra-low emission zones and clean air zones. It can also prioritise public transport, keeping the city liveable with reduced emissions. The result? A city which is more attractive for people and for future investment – and helps achieve key policy objectives.
  • Improving air quality
  • Reduce emissions
  • Optimise infrastructure investment
  • Create a healthier and liveable city – attracting citizens and investments

Road managers: enabling road safety and improving accessibility

For road managers, Flowtack helps keep the city accessible, giving more control over the traffic network performance and enabling prioritisation. It does this by harnessing data that’s already available, giving the power to drive change at the network level.
  • Keep the city accessible by minimising downtime and improving throughput
  • Gives greater control of the entire traffic network
  • Improve road safety

Citizens

Flowtack improves liveability and accessibility for citizens of a city. If an accident is causing a tailback, traffic will be automatically diverted to improve the flow of vehicles around the city, or priority can be given to cyclists in heavy rain. For the commuter, Flowtack makes air cleaner, life easier and the commuting journey more pleasant.
  • Less congestion
  • Cleaner air
  • Improved access

Future-proof mobility

Mobility is undergoing a seismic shift. The exponential growth in population and the consumption of goods and services is placing new demands on our mobility networks. Yet our cities must remain accessible without compromising residents’ quality of life, all while striving for environmental sustainability.
 
At Royal HaskoningDHV, we believe that Flowtack can enable cities to meet this challenge head on. By using intelligent traffic light installations (iTLIs), cities can harmonise traffic flows more efficiently, via dynamic traffic light controls. This reduces congestion and pollution and thereby saving time, fuel and CO2 emission as well as money.
 
For smart mobility to be truly successful, we need to take a long term perspective and develop actionable transport plans and strategies today while leveraging the benefits of cutting-edge technology.

Industry recognition

In 2019, Flowtack was awarded the ‘Roads Visionary Award’ at the annual TechFest, organized by New Civil Engineer (NCE) to celebrate innovation and technology.

In November 2017, Flowtack was presented with the “most innovative engineering project” from Dutch organisation NLingenieurs. According to judges, Flowtack excels in the 'meaningful use of big data and shows what potential this has to improve the living environment.'
Flowtack | Royal HaskoningDHV

See Flowtack in action

Enabling smoother traffic, cleaner cities and greater control for city authorities.

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