Crash Benefits of SCATS Control System

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Utpal Dutta
    University of Detroit Mercy


  • Dr. James Lynch
    University of Detroit Mercy

Project Dates:

01/01/2009 to 08/31/2010

Project year: Year 2

MIOH-UTC Project Identifier: TS-22; Projects 1 and 2

Focus Area:

  • Research: Intelligent Transportation Systems


The purpose of this research is to determine the effectiveness of the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) in reducing traffic hazard by examining crash rate as a Measure of Effectiveness (MOE). Similar to many urban areas across the nation, Oakland County, one of the largest counties in the State of Michigan has been experiencing congestion for the past two decades. Looking for innovative and cost effective ways to improve road user mobility and safety, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) began investigating innovative traffic control strategies associated with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). As a part of this effort, the county has gradually converted its signalized traffic network from optimized fixed-time to SCATS control starting from year 1992.

 In order to evaluate the effectiveness of SCATS signal system, a comparative parallel evaluation methodology will be used. Due to lack of ‘before’ data (prior to 1992), a ‘Comparative Parallel’ study plan will be used to conduct a statistical experiment.  In the ‘Comparative Parallel’ study, the performance of a test corridor (a corridor that has been converted to the SCATS system) and a control corridor (a corridor that has not been converted to the SCATS system and operates under conventional signal control) will be compared for various measures of effectiveness selected for this study.  In addition, a cost-benefit analysis of the SCATS system will be performed  by considering congestion and crash benefits, installation/maintenance cost and life span.

Final Report:


Total Budget: $38,996