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Artificial Intelligence and Road Traffic Signal Control

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 01, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Transportation Research Group at the University of Southampton (www.southampton.ac.uk/trg) and Siemens Mobility Limited (Poole, UK) are pleased to be able to offer a fully-funded PhD studentship focussing on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches to improve real-time road traffic signal control systems.

As increased levels of real-time data become available within a road transport system (wirelessly connected cars, pedestrian monitoring systems, etc.), AI is increasingly being used to enable more rapid response to changing traffic patterns and road network conditions. In contrast however the use of countdown timers on pedestrian crossings and vehicle speed advisory systems such as GLOSA require a fixed time horizon within which no changes can be made to existing signal plans. These two approaches, exploiting maximum flexibility and requiring no flexibility appear fundamentally opposed.

Using simulation modelling of a state-of-the-art AI based traffic signal control approach co-developed by the Transportation Research Group and Siemens Mobility Limited, the project will seek to understand the relationships between maximum and minimum flexibility approaches and their comparative performance in real life urban transport systems.

The project would suit a student with a strong mathematical/engineering/computing background. Prior experience of artificial intelligence and/or road traffic modelling would be an advantage, but not essential.

Studentship Details:
• This 3 year studentship provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.
• Applicants must be UK residents with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have lived here for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. (For full eligibility criteria please see https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/help/eligibility)
• Applicants must have a first class or good upper second class degree in a relevant subject.
• It is expected that the student will spend time on placement at Siemens during their studies

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Ben Waterson, Transportation Research Group, Email:

Funding Notes

This 3 year studentship covers UK tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

Applicants must be UK residents with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have lived here for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. This residence cannot be mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education.

For further guidance on funding, please contact

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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