Smart transportation technology and your quality of life

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Traffic management centers
Texas A&M Institute of Transportation

Traffic management includes high and low-tech Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) solutions, from synchronized traffic lights to rapid clearance of disabled vehicles. Today, technological advances have an even greater impact on the quality of life of commuters.

For example, TMC employees examine the camera, sensor and other data to deploy first responders and alert commuters via dynamic messaging to incidents that could cause delays or compromise safety. Some centers have colocation agreements with first responders to help offset start-up and operating costs.

At our TMC located just outside of Austin, Texas, we have developed a Traffic and Incident Management Center (TIM) to serve as a traffic situation room that uses technology to control different layers of traffic management. traffic. For example, in order to implement an automated variable toll, we used data from 17 high-definition cameras and sensors to enable a pre-programmed algorithm to assess congestion at four-minute intervals, automatically adjusting the prices of the road. express way to manage congestion.

While our TIM uses sensors and cameras, the LA Metro uses Sensys Networks washers. These pavement traffic detection systems capture and analyze traffic data to help regulate flow through optimization of traffic light timing, intersection performance, speed and red light violations. The system can count both vehicle and bicycle traffic to monitor multimodal performance and help TMC operators focus on high congestion areas.

Take another example, the Washington State Department of Transportation, one of the first transportation agencies in the United States to implement a active management of traffic and demand system, which he attributes to the reduction in last-second avoidance maneuvers and “panic braking”.

Simplify your life with apps

Algorithms are only one part of intelligent transport. In Gainesville, Florida, commuters with the Enlighten mobile app receive real time information for the remaining time at green lights.

Mobility optimization application Metropia is committed to what many transport leaders see as the future of mobility applications: the integration of multiple mobility services with agencies and transport providers. These mobility as a service (MaaS) and mobility on demand applications integrate transit, guidance and payment in a single application.

There are other examples of transport technologies being used via apps, although these lines would be expected to be blurred with increased integration of services:

• Route search: Waze and Google Maps are common examples.

• Public transport: Applications like Moovit help users find the best public transportation options in their respective cities. These apps also use data from the crowd (real-time user input) to improve the transit experience for other members. Other early ridesharing entries such as Uber are increasingly lumped into this category as they integrate the available transit options into their app features.

• VTC: Include Uber and Lyft in this category.

• Car sharing: Carsharing companies such as Car2Go have given many American commuters their first experiences with emerging transportation concepts. In the same way, Bike sharing participants expanded non-motorized options with dockless bikes and scooters.

• Car park: Finally, we have parking apps. American motorists spend on average 17 hours a year looking for a parking space. The result is increased costs for the environment, congestion and the overall quality of life.

Driving with data

Fiber optic cables and Wi-Fi built into roads are becoming “smart pavements”. Transportation agencies prepared for future advances by inserting fiber strands into roads during construction (aka “dark fiber”). By installing the communication and power infrastructure, we prepare ourselves for road applications of emerging and future technologies.

Data is crucial for the Smart cities concept, helping urban and regional planners and administrators to rationalize and even predict what services are needed. It will also lay the foundation for emerging automotive technologies such as autonomous vehicles.

Cities, agencies and innovative companies are increasingly joining forces to create systems to manage this growing information in real time. In 2017, the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility announced a agreement with Israel-based Nexar hoping to install the Nexar app that turns smartphones into dash cameras on its state vehicles. Such integrated technology can eliminate or rationalize other disparate technologies.

TMC and transport technologies are no longer imagined. Whether it’s getting drivers safely home to their families or giving back time to commuters, the well-planned and astute use of technology in mobility solutions is a key part of our quality of life. .


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