New system gives a FULL picture of your city's traffic

Wed, 2016-06-08 06:00 -- Kevin Ebi

Slowly but surely, the walls are coming down between silos to allow cross-cutting solutions. Slowly but surely, companies are moving those solutions into the cloud, where they can grow as big and as fast as needed. You'll see both of these trends embodied in the release from Cubic — a leader in transportation — and Microsoft — a leader in cloud.

It seems so obvious. To optimize all your city's traffic, you need data from all your traffic systems. Cubic and Microsoft have set off to give cities just that. — Jesse Berst

Commuters have one goal: get to wherever they’re going in a reasonable amount of time. And soon, cities could have one system that delivers on that goal.

Council Lead Partner Microsoft is partnering with Cubic on a new platform called NextTraffic, which brings all of a city’s traffic systems together. Traditionally, different systems may collect congestion information from sensors embedded in the roads, people monitoring video feeds on other systems may verify that information, and operators using still different systems adjust ramp meters or program message signs.

Using the cloud as a layer of glue, the system pulls everything from weather and sensor information and advanced data analytics into an integrated platform that's able to interact with traffic signals, dynamic speed and lane controls and signs. The same integrated platform can also feed into dispatch systems and power traveler information systems that help commuters make smarter choices.

The partners say that cities will benefit in several ways. First, they can reduce their overhead by eliminating costs associated with managing multiple unconnected systems and by having better and more timely information available to make more efficient use of resources. It also helps travelers by giving them more accurate, real-time information.

How to get smart about transportation …
Traffic congestion robs the U.S. economy of more than $124 billion each year through lost productivity and costs billions more through unnecessary emissions and social costs. The Transportation chapter of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide gives you ideas and strategies to make your city more liable. See how Shanghai gained a competitive advantage by committing to smart transportation and how open innovation platforms are helping cities like San Francisco reduce their congestion.