Surtrac – AI enabled traffic signals

1) Sustainability problem: Vehicular idling and congestion in traffic stops. Area: Civic Engagement, Mobility. 

  • Idling in rush-hour traffic  costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity
  • It also produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
  •  In many urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic.

2)  Technology

  • The Surtrac or Scalable Urban Traffic Control system relies on computerized traffic lights coordinating closely with each other. Radar sensors and cameras at each light detect traffic. Sophisticated AI algorithms use that data to build a timing plan that moves all the vehicles it knows about through the intersection in the most efficient way possible.
  • Each signal then sends the data to traffic intersections downstream so they can plan ahead and can avoid congestion.
  • Surtrac system is interoperable and can use DSRC technology for Vehicle to infrastructure communication, where street signals “talk” and rely data to smart vehicles in real time.

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Sources:

  1. https://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/robotics/artificial-intelligence/pittsburgh-smart-traffic-signals-will-make-driving-less-boring

3) Stakeholders

  • City and local governments
  • Department of Transportation
  • Road transport commuters.

4) Deployment 

  • Research cities with highest intersection traffic congestion
  • Partner with the DOT and local governments to install the SURTRAC system in those areas
  • Reach production at scale so as to being down cost of installation of each SURTRAC unit.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Bacteriophages improve food safety and animal health issues) :

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the major challenges facing the global health community and better alternatives are needed in order to prevent mass causalities from anti-biotic resistant bacteria. The Bacteriophages used in BAFASAL are viruses that need a bacterial cell to replicate. Once they infect a bacterial cell, they quickly replicate using the host cells RNA and other vital proteins and then “lys” or kill the bacteria when the new phages emerge from it. Proteon’s phage technology doesn’t affect the animal’s immune system.”

 UNI – jv2610

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3 thoughts on “Surtrac – AI enabled traffic signals

  1. I believe that a smart traffic light control system is critical in solving congestion issue in cities by improving traffic efficiency. The ability of Surtrac not only to adjust traffic light timing by collecting real-time traffic data but also “communicate” with other nearby traffic lights definitely improve its potential of achieving higher efficiency. I also wrote about a similar technology named Transit Signal Priority (TSP) that aims to improve efficiency of transit vehicles at busy intersections and I am wondering if these two technologies could be combined together to alleviate congestion issue more effectively.

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  2. The system is also decentralized, making it possible for each signal to make its own decisions in terms of traffic timing. As said in the articles, traditional models of traffic systems occasionally use older algorithms making them more troublesome in the future when driving patterns have changed yet the light says red for a considerable amount of time. Or the opposite of having no cars on the street yet you need to stop at each light.

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