Real-Time Traffic Management With Road Signs

traffic management

A system of cloud-connected road signs has numerous capabilities for traffic management, such as speed enforcement, drive times, and alternate routes.

Name of Organization: All Traffic Solutions

Industry: Government

Location: State College, PA USA

Business Opportunity or Challenge Encountered: 

Traffic management often entails solving a real-time optimization problem, with the data “stream” consisting of cars traveling at various speeds on different points in a highway.

All Traffic Solutions provides local and state governments with portable electronic signs that provide real-time alerts of road closures, vehicle speed, traffic jams or construction. The web-based signs, which are installed in all 50 sates and 20 countries, are relied on to manage speed in certain neighborhoods, prevent gridlock, and enhance road safety.

All Traffic Solutions recently released a 100% integrated cloud-based line of traffic signs and solutions—TraffiCloud—which allows users to remotely manage all their traffic safety equipment and data from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

The challenge for All Traffic Solutions was addressing the increasing complexity of supporting these real-time networks, which increased as the company added analytics of real-time traffic data.

How This Business Opportunity or Challenge Was Met :

The ability to capture, analyze, and report on real-time traffic data has provided All Traffic Solutions with an opportunity to create a suite of IoT-driven, smart, connected applications, as related in a report from Blue Hill Research.

All Traffic Solutions worked with ThingWorx to develop new interfaces and dashboards to provide analytics tied into its networks of real-time traffic management signs. The company upgraded its wireless capabilities, which also required an accompanying software upgrade.

“The company understood that it had to deliver software that would provide valuable services, and make it easy for its customers to promptly make sense of the real-time data and alerts that would be transmitted and collected,” according to a Blue Hill Research. The company also sought to replace its sensor system with GPS-based data.

As part of the delivery of these real-time services, All Traffic introduced its DriveTimes app, which provides GPS-based data for highway and road notification message boards. The app allows display of travel times for custom routes to be updated constantly on any All Traffic Solutions variable message signs, anywhere, without the need for any fixed speed sensing infrastructure.

Benefits of the new app and GPS-based capability include the display of “Time to Destination” over interstate, urban or rural routes; and the dynamic recommendations of alternate routes based on travel time thresholds. The point-and-click route configuration eliminates reliance on roadside sensor infrastructure and provides a connected product platform, according to All Traffic Solutions.

traffic managementDriveTimes also embeds specialized traffic data from TomTom within All Traffic Solutions’ products to reduce the complexity and cost for agencies to design and maintain advanced, time-to-destination message systems. The implementation “allowed us to build a more effective solution that could inform decisions before drivers reach high-volume problem areas,” says Ted Graef, president of All Traffic Solutions.

This feature allows different messages to be displayed based on live inputs. It is now possible to capture and display external device sensor or network data into messages on All Traffic Solutions’ variable message signs. In addition to vehicle speed data from a built-in sensor, the information can now include digital inputs, analog inputs or serial strings.

With these inputs available, the signs can display such items as time-to-destination, road surface or air temperatures. Timer values, vehicle weights, high winds, available parking spaces and other information can also come from a variety of device sensors.

Measurable/Quantifiable and “Soft” Benefits from This Initiative:

The implementation of the next generation of apps and interfaces has enabled All Traffic Solutions to get its offerings to market quickly, Blue Hill Research reports. The company says it has been able to contribute to the productivity of the employees at agencies using the systems.

Real-time traffic management capabilities include live travel times; virtual drive times; weather and road conditions; a parking notification system; wrong-way detection and alerts; counter classifiers and traffic studies; data collection/hand-held lidar speed enforcement; and automated license plate recognition. Users can manage all their traffic safety equipment and data online in a single place with All Traffic Solutions’ web-based ecosystem, the TraffiCloud.

(Sources: All Traffic Solutions, ThingWorx, Blue Hill Research)

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