Connected traffic systems are the next push in our growing digital world. There is a massive opportunity to leverage modern technology for a variety of traffic applications. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to advancements within many municipalities to optimize public transit, traffic management and public safety. As a result, cities around the country are looking to technology and connected devices to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
Connected Traffic Systems Technology
U.S. Commuters spend 14.5 million hours stuck in traffic every day. The Urban Mobility Scorecard from 2015 reported that commuters generally needed to allow 48 minutes for a trip that would take 20 without traffic. The report predicted that conditions would continue to worsen if dedicated programs, policies and projects are not expanded.
From a public transportation perspective, many cities are dealing with outdated infrastructure that can lead to severe delays and transportation outages. Voters in San Francisco, for example, recently approved a measure for a $3.5 billion regional bond to update its aging BART transportation system. In addition to investing in and fixing ageing infrastructure, U.S. cities also aim to become smarter and prepare for the future by leveraging technology.
The U.S. Department of transportation has recently offered nearly $65 million in grants to cities around the country that are working on advanced transportation initiatives. The grants support a number of projects including traffic signal technology to reduce congestion at street lights, transit trip planning technology and applications, ride-sharing services, and more. While the cities work on the ground, there are also efforts to improve air traffic congestion. AT&T recently announced that it is partnering with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a traffic management system for drones.
Sensor-2-Server for Traffic Management
Sensor-2-Server (S2S) solutions offer reliable connectivity options for municipalities looking to fix traffic flow issues and create smoother traffic management. By leveraging S2S operations, the city or municipality can enable intelligent communications at the edge of the communication network, from the sensor at the traffic light back to a specific server, enabling advanced data analytics.
Cities with outdated communication infrastructures, such as a T1 phone line for traffic control systems, can easily update their network with wireless S2S solutions. S2S technologies are created to perform in extreme weather, offering a real-time monitoring solution around the clock. The cost of operations is significantly reduced with S2S solutions and they deliver the connectivity needed for modern IoT networks. Some S2S solutions are equipped with the ability to introduce custom, third-party applications at the edge, which can help reduce costs and enable new automation capabilities.
As cities throughout the U.S. embrace IoT and work to become Smart Cities, traffic management is a major initiative. While cities work to improve aging infrastructure, they can help improve traffic congestion by incorporating a traffic management system that can leverage data from an S2S network to optimize traffic flow.