IBI Group Recognized for Leadership in Urban Mobility

BC’s Variable Speed Limit System among transportation projects recognized in Q4

A global architecture, engineering and intelligence firm with more than 2,500 employees, IBI Group’s expertise in designing smart, connected cities and communities has been a core competency of the firm for the last 40 years. Providing a range of services related to the integrated and sustainable movement of people, goods and information, several prominent intelligence and infrastructure projects received awards in Q4.

In Vancouver, IBI Group received the 2016 Mavis Johnson Award from the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers for the Variable Speed Limit System (VSLS), designed for the Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure in British Columbia. Implemented in June 2016, the software alerts drivers of their speed on major Vancouver area highways, “enhancing the monitoring and control capabilities of the Regional Transportation Management Centre, and leveraging the Ministry’s investment in the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS),” said IBI Director, Homayoun Vahidi. The Mavis Johnson Award celebrates technical excellence in the field of road safety.

The VSLS is a pilot project and part of B.C.’s 10-year ‘On the Move’ plan for improving the province’s transportation network. The goal of variable speed limits is to improve driver safety during unfavorable weather conditions and to reduce serious crashes in areas where weather patterns are prone to change quickly, making driving conditions dangerous.

IBI Group was responsible for the design, development, and deployment of the underlying software that monitors and controls the system. The Variable Speed Limit System (VSLS) measures road-weather and traffic conditions, along three corridors, and that data is transmitted to the Ministry’s Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) at the Regional Transportation Management Centre (RTMC):

  • Sea to Sky Highway 99: Squamish to Whistler (30 km)
  • Coquihalla Highway 5: Portia Interchange to former Toll Plaza (40 km)
  • Trans-Canada Highway 1: Sicamous to Revelstoke (30 km)

Whether it is extreme cold, freezing rain or heavy snowfall, the VSLS’s extensive system of traffic, pavement and visibility sensors data is analyzed in a real-time and appropriate speed limits are calculated taking into account the field data as well with operator’s input. The recommended speed is used to update the speed shown on digital signs, to help drivers know a safe driving speed during adverse weather conditions or adjust speeds for construction and maintenance activities. A total of 47 high-tech digital signs were installed on all three highways.

The system is expected to improve road safety by alerting drivers that they need to adjust their speeds to current conditions, and these adjusted speed limits will be fully enforceable by the RCMP. The electronic signs will adjust the speed limit to let drivers know what speed they should be travelling during winter weather conditions, to help them reach their destination safe and so

BC Variable Speed Limit System improves driver safety during unfavourable weather conditions and reduces serious crashes in areas where weather patterns are prone to change quickly. 

credit: IBI Group