Adaptive signal control technology reduces travel time, delays, and stops with savings ranging between $88,000 and $757,000 per year.

Experience with adaptive signal control technology.

Gahanna,Ohio,United States; El Cajon,California,United States; Houston,Texas,United States; Bradenton,Florida,United States

Summary Information

Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) functions through three primary steps: sensors monitor traffic, software compares traffic to baseline timing plan, timing is changed if necessary, and the process repeats. This technology helps adjust for the natural variations in traffic volumes. Six signal timing systems were used to evaluate the effects of ASCT in several case studies: ACS-Lite, InSync, OPAC, RHODES, SCATS, and SCOOT.


Benefits of ASCT include delivering better service to road users through reducing congestion, improved travel time reliability, and reduced fuel consumption. Furthermore, it solves problems for operators and agencies by reducing complaints and it addressed variability and unpredictability in demand. Finally, ASCT provides value to operators through savings in retiming costs, emissions reductions, and improved safety. In four case studies, benefits to users range from $88,000/year to $757,000/year.

SystemBenefits (% Change In)
Travel TimeDelaysStops
ACS-Lite-28% to +7%-38% to +2%-35% to -28%
InSync-30% to +1.7+-80.5% to +5.8%-95% to +26%
OPAC-26% to +10%--55% to 0%
RHODES-7% to +4%-19% to -2%-
SCATS-20% to 0%-19% to +3%-24% to +5%
SCOOT-29% to -5%-28% to -2%-32% to -17%

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Adaptive Signal Control Technology Overview

Author: Eddie Curtis

Published By: United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Source Date: 02/04/2011


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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


traffic signals, adaptive signals, adaptive signal control, arterial management, travel time, delay

Benefit ID: 2015-01015