FIVE COST COMPONENTS There's more to adaptive traffic control than artificial-intelligence software. In addition to traffic volumes and variability and roadway geometry, how well adaptive signals ease congestion depends on how well the signals worked before the solution was implemented, scope of deployment, an agency's objectives (i.e., minimize aggregate delay, minimize extreme delays, progression, etc.), and weather conditions.
CALCULATING RISK VS. REWARD FOR ADAPTIVE TRAFFIC CONTROL OPTIONS Most vendors roll the first two years of service and support into the purchase price, so make sure you ask customers for both initial and annual operating costs. Use your research on costs and in-field performance to develop best-, average-, and worst-case scenarios for each product. This method puts the initial cost in terms of an investment. Thus, Product A is the least expensive option but represents the worst long-term investment. Depending on your risk tolerance, you might decide that the most important consideration is to avoid failure on the magnitude of the worst-case scenarios below (especially Product A). You might strive for the best-case performance (Product C), but be willing to accept that a consistently strong performance (Product B) is the best of both worlds: maximum results with minimal downside risk.