NGEN – Personality Configuration System
Installed in over 55,000 intersections across 187 cities and 28 countries worldwide the SCATS adaptive traffic system is a traffic control system designed to optimise traffic ﬂow.
Intelligent algorithms process real-time data to adapt traffic signal timings that respond to unexpected conditions, predict traffic patterns and keep traffic moving.
The result is a reduction in congestion, shorter journey times and increased safety and productivity.
Intelligent transport systems are highly complex. The software used to manage these systems is old and slow with steep learning curves.
The Intersection Personality Configuration System (PCS) is used to write algorithms (Personalities) for adaptive intersections. There are currently two software applications that can do this – RGEN – a VAX based terminal application that is almost 40 years old and NGEN – a Windows application that is 20 years old.
The team of traffic engineers within the NSW government use the older RGEN system as they use features within this system that aren’t available in the NGEN application. The NGEN system is used around the world.
The goals of the new product design are to combine the existing functionality we have with both systems, to allow for the retirement of RGEN and to provide a much shorter learning curve to start creating personalities – needs to change from being 6-12 months to 2-4 weeks.
Hiring and retaining staff to use the old software was problematic.
Our users were all distributed around Australia, so even if COVID had not occurred most of the user interviews would have been via zoom/Teams.
I conducted 13 interviews with traffic engineers from across Australia who use our adaptive intersection products.
The interviews were documented using Userbit where they were categorised and turned into Affinity maps.
Using Miro we were able to workshop the research into a number of key insights that would meet the business requirements while also making the user experience easier, and the application more usable.
- A Network based Template, Table and File Manager
- Improved Documentation
- Better Error Management & Reporting
- A new Modern UI