Spokane, WA

Systems Success

Centracs – Implementations

Spokane, WA (Adaptive)


Optimizing signal control using Centracs, Centracs Adaptive, and Cobalt ATC Controllers

The Spokane Adaptive Signal Control System project was important for the City as it provided the opportunity to optimize traffic signal control along the North Division Street Corridor – from Euclid to the North Division “Y”. Econolite Systems’ Centracs® and Centracs Adaptive solution adapted signal timing based on prevailing traffic conditions and demand, in addition to providing the City of Spokane with a full-featured ATMS solution that can be easily expanded Citywide. As part of this project, Econolite performed the following tasks:

  • Provide, configure, install, & integrate Centracs & Centracs Adaptive for the City as well as the Local Edition, Synchro Interface, & Enhanced MOE system software modules.
  • Provide the City with the Econolite Cobalt® Graphics ATC controllers running ASC/3 firmware & Adaptive data keys to replace the City’s existing M50 traffic signal controllers (12 ints.).
  • Install the Centracs system & Centracs Adaptive software modules on the City-provided VM environment (running Microsoft’s HyperV).
  • Entry of detection, controller, & communications configuration data as well as signall coordination data into Centracs & Centracs Adaptive.
  • Develop detailed system graphics & intersection diagrams as well as perform database conversion for all of the controllers (12 ints.).
  • Integration of Cobalt ATC controllers over City-furnished Ethernet network over fiber using Cisco switchgear.
  • Documentation, training, system acceptance testing, 1-Year Warranty, & 1-Year Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for the entire Centracs system.

The Centracs Adaptive system works optimally with stop bar detection on all approaches (for split optimization) and advanced detection on the main coordinated approaches (for offset optimization). Centracs Adaptive works best when all detection is separated by lane and all lanes are instrumented.

Centracs Adaptive offers several advantages over other adaptive approaches. Centracs Adaptive is a fully integrated module of Econolite’s industry-leading Centracs system which has been deployed in over 210 Agencies.  Benefits of Centracs Adaptive include:

  • Standard US signal controller technology (familiar terms, standard ring structures, phasing, etc.).
  • Integration with other ATMS capabilities (Advanced MOE’s, travel time, CCTV, DMS, etc.).
  • No “personalities” to define intersection operation (control parameters can be easily modified, even from the central system).
  • No “black box” external control hardware (extra space, cabinet wiring, single point of failure).

Centracs Adaptive is based on the ACS Lite adaptive algorithms, developed as a part of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research. The goal of the research was to develop an adaptive solution that would provide the benefits of adaptive using standard US controller hardware that would be compatible with existing systems.

Econolite has taken all of the benefits of ACS Lite – the operating theory, the detection scheme, and the algorithms – and integrated it as an optional module into Econolite’s Centracs system and Econolite Cobalt and ASC/3 series controllers. Now, ACS Lite is simply an additional control strategy (known as Centracs Adaptive) available in our state-of-the-art Centracs ATMS.

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