Managed Motorways

Managed Motorways

Improve traffic management and safety

Improve traffic management and safety

Ramp metering

Off-ramps integrated with traffic signals to prevent queuing onto motorway

Ramp metering uses signals to regulate on-ramp flow where there is a risk of flow breakdown occurring on the motorway

Environmental monitoring

Automatic congestion notification via variable message signs

Environmental monitoring (weather stations) to advise motorists of road conditions during severe weather events

Variable speed-limits

Control of variable speed limit signs and lane use management signs

Control of dynamic message signs to inform motorists of incidents and travel times

Video integration

Integration with video incident detection systems

Integration with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Managed motorways technologies can deliver substantial improvements in traffic management and safety. STREAMS Managed Motorways capitalises on the international award-winning capabilities of the integrated STREAMS ITS Platform to deliver a complete managed motorways solution for customers.

In 2007, VicRoads commissioned Transmax to implement a coordinated ramp metering trial system on a 15 km section of Melbourne’s most congested freeway, the Monash Freeway (M1). The Transmax STREAMS ITS solution deployed intelligent motorway on-ramp metering to manage the upstream demand to not exceed the freeway capacity. The system exceeded expectations by reducing delays, improving reliability and increasing traffic throughput.


Motorway speed management

motorway speed management

Ramp metering

Ramp metering uses signals to regulate on-ramp flow where there is a risk of flow breakdown occurring on the motorway. It can operate using a time of day schedule or adaptively using algorithms to monitor motorway performance and respond based on current conditions.

With the help of the academic community, Transmax is proud to offer the coordinated ramp-metering algorithm suite ALINEA/HERO. Using this, STREAMS balances queues across multiple ramps and maximised motorway performance. The modular architecture of STREAMS means Transmax is able to integrate new algorithms as they become available.

Ramp closure

Closure of a motorway on-ramp may be required in the event of a major incident. STREAMS managed motorways can modify the operation of the controlled intersection and variable message signs at the start of an on-ramp to close the ramp. This operation is supported by the use of one or more changeable message signs advising motorists of the closure.

Lane control

Lane control is used to dynamically open and close lanes in response to the current traffic conditions. It may be used during incidents to close the affected lane/s or during peak period to create an extra lane using hard-shoulder running. STREAMS Managed Motorways includes a rules engine that assists operators to create a lane closure strategy involving multiple lane control gantries and variable speed limits.

Ramp queue clearance

The risk of accident on a motorway increases significantly if a queue is allowed to extend into a highspeed section of the motorway. This can be caused by insufficient green time at the intersection at the bottom of an off-ramp or at the end of the motorway (where it terminates into an arterial road). STREAMS managed motorways detects when this condition is likely to occur and provides more green time to clear the queue.

Motorway speed management

Dynamic speed limits use variable speed signs to advise motorists when speeds have been changed from the prescribed limit. An operator can request a speed change in response to a known incident or road conditions. STREAMS can automatically display a supporting message on surrounding variable message signs.

Weather response

STREAMS is able to detect a change in weather conditions and automatically apply an appropriate speed advisory message. This may be supplemented by messages on surrounding variable message signs.

Queue detection and protection

STREAMS queue detection provides the ability to automatically detects and monitors traffic queues on motorways. The queue protection algorithm makes speed recommendations using variable speed signs. It recommends changes within and extending past the end of a queue to provide motorists with adequate warning of changed conditions.


Motorists reduce speed before reaching the end of the queue

Reduces the risk of accidents at the end of a queue

Clears the queue faster

Traffic operators made aware of queues and can track progress

Motorists informed in advance via dynamic message signs

Incident management

incident management

Using rules to manage motorway incidents

A unique feature of STREAMS Managed Motorways is its rules-based engine to manage speed limits, lane closures, variable message signs and ramp metering sites in the event of motorway incidents, planned events and inclement weather conditions.

Optimising motorway lane usage via the rules-based engine enables the use of less than 25 rules rather than traditional traffic control systems that often use 1000s of individual traffic management plans, signficantly reducing a TMC operator's workload. Operators simply identify the location and nature of the incident to initiate a response and then STREAMS Field Response generates and implements the appropriate response plan automatically.

The system results in community benefits including improved safety, with reduced secondary incidents, reduced travel times and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

Incident detection

STREAMS Managed Motorways supports the use of specialised incident detection systems. These systems use video image processing to detect stationary vehicles or pedestrians in tunnels or on motorways. STREAMS can integrate with these systems to provide comprehensive incident detection and response capability.

Incident verification and logging

STREAMS provides tools that allow operators to verify incidents and record incident details in the system. Incidents are classified into six broad categories (accident, breakdown, hazard, flood, roadworks and planned event).

An incident’s classification, together with other details, determines the response plan that will be presented to the operator in the response phase.

Incident response

STREAMS incident response systems recognises that in the majority of cases, responding to incidents that are similar in nature and severity will involve the same sequence of actions. These sequences of actions can be predefined as incident response plans. These plans are templates that are customised by the details of the incident being responded to and may contain manual and automatic actions.

Incident information

STREAMS incident response will suggest messages to the operator for the variable message signs around an incident. The operator may accept, modify or reject the suggested messages. An operator may also request a message to be displayed on a variable message sign independently of the incident response system. Incident information can be published to the internet to provide information to travellers before they begin their trip.

Automatic travel time advisory

Motorists value the provision of travel time information while on the motorway, particularly where travel time to the same destination via a different route is provided. This information allows road users to make informed choices about their route, reduces their travel time, and prevents them contributing to congestion.



A number of reports are available through STREAMS to assist road agencies to monitor and manage motorways including:

Motorists reduce speed before reaching the end of the queue

A map-based display with colour-coded motorway links indicating traffic conditions

2D and 3D bar graphs displaying the value of selected traffic variables at detector sites along a motorway

Trend graph showing demand and capacity for on-ramps and associated motorway links


Transmax provides an ALINEA/HERO optimisation service, which is offered to customers using STREAMS managed motorways on a fixed-price, per-ramp basis. Transmax also offeres customers a schematic design service providing customers with an interactive, detailed view of a motorway and all associated field equipment. Operators can customise this revolutionary schematic view to suit their needs and STREAMS renders this interactive view on high resolution backgrounds.

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Ecomonic Savings

Economic savings

Increasing fuel efficiency

Increasing fuel efficiency

Increasing traffic throughput

Increasing traffic throughput

Reducing accident rates

Reducing accident rates

Reducing environmental impact

Reducing environmental impact

Reducing travel times

Reducing travel times