Traffic Management for a Smarter City : Istanbul

Posted 30 September By RoadMapsIn E-articles from Partners, News0 comments

There is no doubt for Traffic Management to be an issue in a crowded city connecting two continents such as Istanbul. Considering that the whole system is managed from one central unit of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), complexity of processes, intensity of data exchange and difficulty of administration become more understandable. Based on the statistical data generated by Traffic Control Center (TCC), where this challenge is taken on since 1995, the growth of the demands placed upon traffic in years has become obvious. Again, according to TCC’s predictions for 2019, it is expected to be 33 million daily trips. How could there be more vehicles & more people but less traffic in the near future?

Transportation statistic Istambul

Technology talks

It is very difficult to make changes in existing city plans and add new paths to the road network for the cities with ancient and dense settlements. Today, cutting-edge technologies take the role to answer “How and when to get from point A to point B” question and make traffic management smarter.

traffic control

As being a unit of IMM Traffic Directorate, TCC has installed more than 900 traffic cameras and 900 various types of road sensors with its significant investments since 1995 in order to provide data for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Table 2 demonstrates the types of road sensors. Traffic cameras are used for observation purpose and mounted on poles with 20meters height. TCC shares live camera streams with municipality’s all departments, Governorship of Istanbul and Disaster Management Center (AKOM). Beside real-time stream, historical incident data analysis is possible with traffic cameras. Collected data is the source of many ITS applications and presented via different platforms for being more accessible by the citizens.

sensor types

200 of these sensors are powered by alternative energy.
Weather condition has adverse effects on traffic, especially when required precautions are not taken. Snow-fighting without detailed instant data is both inefficient and high-cost. As a solution to these problems, 35 Automatic Road and Weather Sensor stations are installed. Gathered data from these stations is published for informing citizens. With Vpad technology adapted to snow removal vehicles, directing these vehicles to icing predicted regions immediately and using right amount of salting solutions can be provided.


TCC Web Site ( has been serving since 2005 with getting ~50.000 hits per day. With more installation of equipment in field, precision and accuracy of data has increased. Beside instant traffic data, applications developed with enhanced and customized algorithms such as “Travel Time Calculation”, “Sensor Failure Detection” and “Automated Incident Detection” interprets gathered raw data and serve it to the public. User-friendly interface of “Traffic Density Map”, which is also available in web site, demonstrates traffic information. Instant traffic density, live traffic cameras, warnings, messages and notifications, weather condition data, available parking spaces and traffic statistics are provided in a clear manner.

TCC website

TCC has also published mobile traffic application for smart phone platform which is currently the most common application platform. As being the first map based traffic application, it is densely used by the citizens with more than 5.5 million downloads. Call Center working for 24/7 and placed in TCC gives public service for the citizens who prefer phone calls rather than mobile application and receives 2000 calls per day.

montaje ICTs istambul

Instant traffic information is published via not only individual but also public platforms in constant places such as Variable Message Signs (VMS), Dynamic Message Sign (DMS), Variable Traffic Signs (VTS) and Lane Control System (LCS). Path or lane-based routing is provided with 70 VMSs, 20 DMSs, 58 LCSs and numerous VTSs are located all over Istanbul. Smart Parking System provides instant available parking lots and directs drivers accordingly. Dynamic information is displayed on board.

istambul traffic management pictures

City’s Traffic Management also covers centralized Signalization management system, Electronic Violation Detection System (EDS), Vertical & Horizontal Markings and Educational & Public Awareness studies. 2030 signalization units are installed all over the city to guarantee safety within the intersections. While all units are capable of working locally in different modes according to intersections’ characteristics, all units are connected to TCC and have the ability to be managed remotely.

traffic lights istambul

Istanbul is one the first metropolises who fully transformed city’s signal transmitters from incandescent lamp to Light Emitting Diode (LED). Beside this technology’s long economic life and maintenance advantages, less carbon emission, low heat and light pollution rate, up to 85% low power consumption contributes to environmental protection. Thanks to the leadership of Istanbul in this field since 2002, $ 2.5 million per year energy savings are achieved.

Different types of traffic violations are automatically detected with EDS in 300 different points. With almost 10Million $ of IMM investment, the system was established and its sustainability is provided with 1.2Million $ annually.

annaul fines statistics

IMM takes care of community awareness about traffic with 2 traffic education parks closed to traffic with computer-supported classes and education simulators. In between 2014-2015, almost 80.000 students from 800 different schools are trained in order to gain traffic knowledge.

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