How to get your citizens to work on time (your traffic analytics are letting you down)

Fri, 2015-12-11 06:00 -- Kevin Ebi

Traffic congestion is a huge drain on the economy. The average American commuter wastes nearly $1,000 each year through lost time and wasted fuel caused by bad traffic. That’s a $160 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy, according to the latest Annual Urban Mobility Scorecard from Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

More people in more concentrated areas is certainly one part of the problem, but research suggests an even bigger factor are your stoplights — and how poorly they’re timed. The scorecard finds as much as 84% of the traffic jams are ultimately caused by the lights.

Council Lead Partner Verizon is working on a new solution that is designed to give your traffic planners the data they need to help commuters see more green lights.

Why your traffic data is wrong
Verizon says the problem for traffic planners is that traditionally they’ve had very limited data to go on. Each light is typically timed based on historical data collected over a tiny slice of time. Data governing neighboring lights may not have even been collected at the same time.

Further, commuters may change their patterns in response to continued traffic jams making those data sets obsolete practically the moment they are collected. And the traffic light timing decisions are based on that data.

Real-time data lets you adapt
The Verizon Intelligent Traffic Management Service is designed to help alleviate traffic congestion by collecting and providing real-time, 24/7 data at each intersection. Embedded sensors and hardware at intersections and other key points constantly collect performance data that planners can see and use immediately to improve traffic flow.

Verizon's solution is offered as software-as-a-service through a partnership with Sensys Networks. It uses the Sensys SNAPS software as the basis of the new service, which is available now in the U.S.

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