Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology

What are adaptive traffic signals?


In the simplest terms, adaptive signal technology uses fiber technology to adjust the timing of traffic lights in real-time to control the flow of traffic and reduce travel times. Hudson has a unique challenge when it comes to traffic, since SR 91 cannot be widened due to the proximity of the existing buildings and creating bypasses around the city would impact businesses that rely on customers traveling through town.

Hudson’s current traffic timing system is programmed based on manual traffic studies. It does not adapt to immediate circumstances such as changes in traffic volumes, crashes or lane closures. With adaptive signal technology, data is received and processed from sensors in real-time to optimize signal timing to accommodate changing traffic patterns as they occur.  

Each signal talks to the other adaptive signals, notifying the system when a backup occurs.  The signals change to let backed up traffic through and clear out intersections all along the system to keep traffic moving. Adaptive signal technology reduces congestion, improves traffic times and improves safety by reducing stops and starts.

TMS Study Documents

Signal Locations - Click on Map to Enlarge

Traffic Signal Map REV 2-11-21

What are the Benefits of Adaptive Signals?


With adaptive signal technology, traffic signals communicate with each other. The system immediately recognizes a traffic back up and takes steps to adjust signal timing to move traffic through congested intersections. Adaptive signals:

  • Move traffic more efficiently with fewer stops.
  • Increase safety by reducing stops (and the potential for rear-end collisions).
  • Adjust traffic in real-time to minimize traffic tie-ups due to crashes, lane-closures or changes in traffic volumes.
  • Reduce vehicle emissions by decreasing idling time.
Examples of adaptive signal technology in Ohio can be seen in Brunswick, Westlake, Avon, and Beachwood, among others. These cities showed a decrease in travel times and better traffic flow with the new adaptive technology.

Council Is Implementing Adaptive Signal Technology


A study was performed by TMS Engineers, Inc. estimated that by improving the timing and updating equipment on our current traffic signals, Hudson could see a 15% decrease in travel time, with an additional 15% decrease with the installation of adaptive signals (for a total of 30%).  Not only would travel times decrease, it would help reduce the number of stops and improve safety.  

TMS Engineers is designing in the summer of 2021 and implementing the construction in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022.  Traffic will be maintained during construction.