FINANCIAL POST, DETROIT (JUNE 5, 2018)
Miovision, a leader in smart intersection technology, today unveiled the World’s Smartest Intersection in the City of Detroit.
The World’s Smartest Intersection, a system of sensors, video-based detection, connected traffic signals and remote monitoring capabilities, is composed of five intersections along a busy corridor, in the heart of Detroit. With a focus on safety, the World’s Smartest Intersection generates data that pinpoints areas where traffic-related fatalities and injuries can be reduced. Cities can use this type of data to advance their Vision Zero goals to eliminate deaths and serious injuries involving road traffic.
The technology behind the World’s Smartest Intersection is a combination of hardware and software based on open architecture and artificial intelligence. Using this foundational technology, the intersections are able to sense and understand what’s happening on the roadways in real time and trigger responses, such as:
- Traffic lights that can extend green lights to accommodate cyclists who wouldn’t otherwise be able to make it through the intersection;
- Alerts that warn drivers of connected cars or Waze users that jaywalkers are ahead;
- Traffic lights that provide priority access to emergency vehicles;
- Intersections that understand and analyze the near misses between users of the roads such as pedestrians, cyclists and drivers;
- Traffic lights that allow for freight vehicles to have green light priority, encouraging freight use on certain intersections away from pedestrian-heavy corridors.
“This corridor is a great example of how cities can leverage existing infrastructure to build innovative solutions that immediately benefit people,” said Mark de la Vergne, Detroit’s chief of mobility innovation. “We started with the goal of improving how we monitor our traffic signals, and now we’re working with Miovision to explore how to improve safety for pedestrians and help first responders get to emergencies more quickly.”
The World’s Smartest Intersection leverages smart traffic technology from Miovision that is being deployed in over 40% of the intersections in Detroit. Miovision worked closely with Sunny Jacob, head of the traffic operations department in the city, as it was developing the technology. While it was initially deployed to help the traffic operations team remotely monitor and manage intersections, the technology is now being used by the entire city to analyze and improve the performance of intersections.
“We have already seen significant improvements in traffic flow,” said Jacob. “Understanding where signal timing could be improved has reduced travel times by more than 30% where the technology has been deployed.”
The World’s Smartest Intersection showcases the latest thinking and engineering being pioneered by Miovision. The open nature of the technology enabled Miovision and Detroit to work together to create innovations never before seen together in a single corridor.
“Detroit now has the capability to leapfrog other cities,” said Dave Bullock, vice president of market strategy at Miovision. “They have gone from not knowing what was happening at intersections to having access to some of the world’s most innovative intersection technology. The sky’s the limit for how far they can go in using that technology to become one of the smartest cities in the world.”
Other city departments have started to benefit from smart intersections powered by Miovision as well. Detroit Public Safety was able to integrate existing emergency vehicle tracking units with traffic lights to ensure the vehicles were given green lights. In early tests, emergency vehicle preemption (EVP) has improved emergency response times by almost 20%. This integration required no additional investment in hardware or communications because they were using technology they already had. This additional benefit was made possible because the intersections are built on open architecture.
“Miovision’s open technology means that we will be able to continue to add new applications to the network and leverage the data we’re collecting to make more improvements that benefit our residents,” said de la Vergne. “Miovision has been a great partner in exploring this technology with us.”
In May, Detroit won an IDC Smart City North America Award for its smart intersection work. IDC also named Miovision an IDC Innovator for Canadian Public Safety Solutions because of safety analytics built upon Miovision’s open architecture platform.
“The work that Detroit and Miovision have done together exemplifies how municipalities and technology companies can help each other achieve great results and improve life for the people who live there,” said Mark Zannoni, research director for smart cities and transportation at IDC Insights. “Improvements in intersection signaling extend far beyond safer intersections to include improved air quality, roadway network reliability meaning more efficient operations for businesses and commuters, and a city that is more economically competitive relative to others. Detroit’s smartest intersection corridor is on the leading edge here.”
The technology showcase will be featured at the ITS America Annual Meeting, June 5-7, in Detroit.
For more information on the project, visit www.smartestintersection.com.
Header image courtesy of the Toronto Star.