SCATS ( S ydney C oordinated A daptive T raffic S ystem) is a sophisticated and dynamic intelligent transport system. SCATS controls more than 3,700 traffic lights across Victoria, including regional areas such as Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon.
The aim of traffic light coordination is to improve traffic flow and safety for road users. The system is able to manage traffic according to predetermined programs for each individual intersection according to the time of day or day of the week. SCATS can also adapt traffic light timings to manage unexpected conditions and minimise delays caused by events or incidents. TMC staff use SCATS to manually change traffic light cycles for sporting and social events to improve access and traffic flow around major venues.
SCATS is also used to assist with the smooth and reliable operation of the public transport network – in particular trams and buses. Where a tram has priority at an intersection, SCATS will identify when the tram approaches and ensure the traffic light cycle gives the tram priority through the intersection. Over 500 intersections in metropolitan Melbourne have tram priority set in SCATS. At some key intersections SCATS is also used to give buses priority so they can clear the intersection and not delay, or be delayed, by other traffic.