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How Smart Cities can measure Traffic Performance

Automatic Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs) are a solution for optimizing traffic signal performance. Their use can help Smart Cities optimize traffic flow and improve congestion, a major problem of most urban areas. They can also facilitate the collection of data and decision-making, and enhance the time-consuming and expensive process of retiming signals.

Most cities still rely on a slow process to identify problems and inefficiencies with traffic signals. Problems are investigated when motorist complaints are filed, and then traffic engineers are dispatched in order to manually collect data. With ATSPMs, data from traffic signals are collected automatically and continuously, measuring things such as cycle length, traffic counts, queue lengths, maximum vehicle delays, pedestrian actuation rates and corridor travel times.

With the data from this approach, cities can dramatically improve response times and avoid relying on citizen complaints as a primary indicator of problems. Armed with this data, traffic engineers can proactively identify and correct any deficiencies, as well as improve traffic safety and congestion before problems occur.

An issue, however, is that while ATSPOMs represent the state-of-the-art in traffic performance monitoring, they are not the most user-friendly option in terms of analyzing traffic performance, which is vital for effectively interpreting this data and making decisions. New technologies, such as the Glance Performance Measures diagnostic and reporting tool, which can be integrated with other smart city systems, can simply the process by giving a context to traffic performance data and even automating the process of deploying traffic engineers to address problems.

In addition, Glance can allow predictive maintenance, showing the real-time location and status of every connected traffic asset in a single cloud-based web application, so that traffic engineers can reach the exact location and address the issue before citizens even notice it. This data can also be used directly by the citizens themselves, by the use of several apps which connect travelers with traffic infrastructure and provides them with real-time data which can improve their safety.

The original article can be found on applied information.