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Three smart traffic case studies

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Smart traffic management is a system wherein centrally-controlled traffic signals and sensors regulate the flow of traffic through the cities in response to specific demand levels. This type of implementation allows cities to:

  • Reduce traffic congestion by smoothing traffic flows and prioritizing traffic in response to demand in real time;
  • Reduce pollution throughout the city. These systems eliminate stop-start driving, which is inefficient and polluting;
  • Give priority to buses approaching intersections, phasing lights to give traffic flowing with buses a ‘green wave’ through the city;

Here we describe three smart traffic implementations.

Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade County has recently approved a project to install smart traffic signals at some of the county’s roadways. California-based company Econolite Control Products won the $11.1 million contract with Miami-Dade to expand a pilot program that introduced new technology to operate traffic lights according to the changing flow of vehicles.

Under the new contract, Econolite will install a total of 300 new smart traffic signals, which represents nearly 10% of all Miami-Dade traffic lights.

During the 2016 pilot project, a number of smart street signals had been installed along Miami’s Northwest 36th street, which resulted in a reduction in average travel time of about 10 minutes.

A study by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, a division of the county’s transportation department, selected the roadways on which the new smart traffic signals will be installed. The full deployment of the project will take approximately one year.

The company has recently launched its EOS traffic controller software, which is a next-generation, web-based user interface traffic control software. EOS is designed to expand traffic control capabilities, preparing agencies for the upcoming demands of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) and smart city traffic control systems.

Michigan

Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan recently announced the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing $50.3 million to deploy smart traffic signals that will improve traffic operation and ease congestion for approximately 700,000 drivers per day on 14 major corridors across the state.

The authorities said the smart traffic system uses real-time traffic conditions and computer software that adjusts the timing of traffic signals, synchronizes the entire corridor, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) to keep traffic moving.

“By replacing 20-year-old existing controls with smart traffic signals, we will have the ability to respond to changes in traffic flow, as well as traffic conditions immediately – benefiting nearly 700,000 Maryland citizens across the state,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

Copenhagen

Smart signals operate with an adaptive signal control system, which uses enhanced detection to monitor traffic conditions and alter the timing of traffic signals.

The city of Copenhagen, in Denmark has invested nearly $9 million to install 380 intelligent traffic signals that prioritize buses and bikes.

The smart traffic system allows buses to communicate their position, number of passengers, and any delays to the traffic signals. Green lights could be extended by eight to 30 seconds to keep buses moving, and those that are overcrowded or running late would have priority. Copenhagen had initially installed 10 smart signals in Valby district as a pilot project, and found that buses saved up to two minutes during rush hour. The traffic signals also will help clear congested areas after events like soccer matches and concerts.

The city will program the new signals to create traffic corridors for cyclist. The smart system has ability to detect cyclist speed through the use of traffic cameras and adapt accordingly.

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