Mobile technologies are supporting the development of new traffic management applications that are drastically changing traditional traffic management system architectures. What once seemed several years out is now showing early signs of first-generation deployments, with beta applications and system field trials already underway. 2011 has seen the emergence of several traffic management applications focused on the use of personal computing devices for sourcing traffic data and feeding new traffic management central software applications. In addition, new applications have also emerged this year that plan and manage traffic flows without directly interfacing with existing signal timing software.
An early entrant is being developed by researchers at Princeton and MIT, which bases signal operations and route planning on visual data collected and processed by vehicle-based smartphones. SignalGuru utilizes dash-mounted smartphones and video analytics to detect and process signal traffic signal indications via Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) . The new application is considered “passive” in that it does not directly interface or manage signal timing and signal system operations.
Siemens has commenced with testing of a new smartphone-based pilot project installed for 400 signalized intersections in Harris County (Houston), Texas. The system utilizes Bluetooth readers and a new central application to measure traffic flow and traffic densities, then utilizes a central application to modify signal timing parameters. This form of traffic management via smartphone technologies is considered “active” as the application actually interfaces with, modifies and manages the central traffic management software.
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