When RCOC officials concluded in the mid-1980s that it was unlikely that there would ever be enough money to make all the road improvements (widening roads, constructing new roads, paving gravel roads, etc.) necessary to meet the traffic needs of Oakland County, they began searching for alternatives to traditional road construction projects. Their search led them to Sydney, Australia.
Faced with a similar situation of too much traffic, too few roads, the Roads and Maritime Services of New South Wales, Australia, in the 1970s developed the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) to increase the efficiency of Sydney's road network. SCATS uses sensors buried in the intersection pavement or video to collect traffic flow information and control traffic signals to optimize traffic flow.
RCOC officials were impressed with SCATS' performance. In 1991, RCOC embarked on a major effort to implement an ITS system in Oakland County. The result is the FAST-TRAC system. Since the system's implementation, studies by such respected institutions as Michigan State University and Oakland University have documented improvements in traffic flow and safety on Oakland County roads where the FAST-TRAC system is installed.