Galway City’s traffic control system gears up for driverless cars

Galway City Council has put to tender a contract for the upgrade and continued maintenance of the city’s traffic control system – the most innovative system currently in operation in Ireland.

Works are set to focus on expanding the already crucial Galway Transport Unit traffic control centre at City Hall.
The system in use in Galway is a SPOT/Utopia system originally developed in Italy to combat some of the most trying congestion problems in cities like Rome. According to Senior Executive Engineer at Galway City Council, Martin McElligott, the system is a forward-thinking approach to urban traffic management – well prepared for even the development of driverless cars.

“We are the only city in the British Isles with this transport system – it complies with all European directives.
“The next steps that they are looking at are vehicle to vehicle communications and vehicle to infrastructure communications – what we use would be compatible with the developments in driving technologies,” said Mr McElligott.

The contract is entirely dependent on funding but the door is left open for amendments during the five years for which it runs – with specific mention made of vehicle to infrastructure interfaces.