An area of technology that is shifting how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT already accounts for swathes of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes critical. The decisions that this critical data is attached to must be made quickly. A living, breathing city must constantly be monitoring, assessing and utilising data in order to ensure it keeps people safe and mobile. Delivering exciting opportunities Much like the arrival of Uber and Airbnb, the Internet of Things will deliver exciting opportunities The search for an answer to the challenges of growing human urbanisation is believed to exist in the smarter application of new technologies. Where once, electricity and the arrival of the elevator gave us vertical cities, today, we have the promise of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, micro-controllers (MEMS) and new materials to help manage a very crowded future. Data capture form to appear here! We are confronted with a perfect storm of risk factors and potential vulnerabilities as each of these connection points is potentially a source for a security breach. Much like the arrival of Uber and Airbnb, the Internet of Things will deliver exciting opportunities and new kinds of services, many of which we have yet to imagine. Priority control solutions However, there will be equally unimagined and unintended consequences, if only because, in highly complex systems with many connected and tightly linked elements, accidents are inevitable. “The journey to a smart city is incremental—you can’t flip a switch or force it. It requires complex integration and relentless innovation,” says Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) product manager Chad Mack. GTT provides priority control solutions that use analytics GTT provides priority control solutions that use analytics, cloud-based computing to link connected devices to improve mobility, public safety and transportation in cities around the world. GTT’s Opticom Priority Control mobility solution allows transit and public safety vehicles to request a green light at intersections, dramatically reducing the potential for intersection crashes and improving travel times and reliability. Increased connectivity “These intelligent priority management systems allow users to oversee and control the movement of vehicles that operate on a city’s streets,” Mack explained. The rise of urban centres and ‘Smart City’ initiatives enabled by big data, network of sensors and the Internet of Things bring a new set of challenges to future policing. There is now a growing consensus that technology transformation must be part of the overall solution While digital technologies have helped compress the reaction time of police all over the world, the increased connectivity can similarly be leveraged by criminals to carry out increasingly sophisticated crimes. There is now a growing consensus that technology transformation must be part of the overall solution. To keep cities and citizens safe, law enforcement must be armed with the right technology, tools, and processes to solve – or even prevent – the toughest crimes at faster rates. Proven criminal theories Many law enforcement agencies such as LAPD, Seattle and Florida Police Departments are using cutting-edge cloud-based crime prediction software to predict drug crime, gang crime, anti-social behaviour and gun violence. Such crime prediction software works by analysing data through a sophisticated algorithm that applies proven criminal theories to predict the top 10 to 20 spots where crime is most likely to occur over the next few hours. To do so, it leverages on a variety of factors, such as historical and recent crime data, real-time activity, weather forecasts, locations and other information. Once these ‘hot spots’ are identified, police officers can adapt their patrol schedule and frequency at these locations, making their presence felt in the area and thereby prevent crime from taking place. Read parts one and two of our Smart Cities miniseries.
Representatives from Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) will discuss the latest smart mobility solutions with more than 400 global city leaders from March 26-29, 2018, at the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo 2018 in Kansas City, Mo. GTT—the trusted global firm in priority control solutions—will engage with international leaders about how powerful analytics, cloud-based computing and connected devices can improve mobility, public safety and transportation in cities around the world. Smart Cities Connect is the largest gathering of Smart City IoT technology leaders in North America. This year’s spring conference includes sessions discussing mobility, data and analytics, emergency services, sensor networks, transportation and more.Building a smart city requires complex integration and relentless innovation Smart city delegates GTT delegates include vice president of product development Learie Hercules and product manager Chad Mack. Hercules oversees all product development functions and is a core member of GTT’s corporate strategy team. Previously, he was the senior technical director at AT&T’s Big Data Division where he led cloud platform technologies, roadmap and product innovation. Mack is responsible for strategic roadmap planning, new product introduction and portfolio management for GTT. He has been instrumental in developing a clear path for cities to become smarter using advance mobility solutions. “The journey to a smart city is incremental—you can’t flip a switch or force it. It requires complex integration and relentless innovation,” Mack said. “Working with GTT gives cities an opportunity to get immediate results.”Future developments could let users manage long-haul trucks, delivery vehicles and even ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft Intelligent priority management GTT’s Opticom Priority Control mobility solution allows transit and public safety vehicles to request a green light at intersections, dramatically reducing the potential for intersection crashes and improving travel times and reliability. “These intelligent priority management systems allow users to oversee and control the movement of vehicles that operate on a city’s streets,” Mack explained. “Users can manage priority levels for public transit, emergency and maintenance vehicles,” Mack said. “Future developments could let users manage long-haul trucks, delivery vehicles and even ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.” “While GTT has been connecting vehicles to intersections for decades, that doesn’t mean Opticom is lagging in innovation,” Hercules said. Cloud- and AI-based analytics “The green light is an immediate benefit to users, but the data generated by the Opticom system drives even more applications,” Hercules said. “GTT developers are using cloud-computing and artificial intelligence to deliver meaningful real-time and historic analytics and management tools to cities.” For example, Opticom Analytics for Public Safety was named a 2017 Innovation Award winner by EMS World magazine. GTT has since rolled out a similar tool for public transit users that also harnesses real-time vehicle data for even more insights.
Transit agencies now have access to a powerful new tool that can help to speed up travel times and improve ridership with the release of Opticom Analytics for Public Transit from Global Traffic Technologies (GTT). The web-based platform can help agencies assess performance, reveal problem areas and make corrections to provide faster, more efficient transit operations. Turning valuable data into actionable insights is a key step for communities working to become connected, smart cities, said Global Traffic Technologies’ (GTT) president Jason Lund. “Becoming a smart city is an incremental process,” Lund said. “Opticom Analytics is a logical first step - it provides tangible, immediate improvements that improve mobility in your community.”Buses can request an extended or truncated traffic light cycle, reducing travel time Reduced travel time GTT, a provider of priority control solutions, first released Opticom Analytics for public safety agencies in June 2017. EMS World Magazine named the tool an Innovation Award winner late last year. The analytics capabilities were expanded this year to enable transit agencies to easily view critical information about their vehicles as they pass through an intersection, as well as powerful schedule-based analytics available as part of GTT's Opticom Connected Vehicle Platform (CVP). Transit managers can monitor key metrics such as on-time performance, Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilisation, current route/trip information, and dwell time and travel time by vehicle or route. GTT's system provides historical and real-time data related to how well operations are performing, and also with industry-leading Opticom TSP, buses can request an extended or truncated traffic light cycle, reducing travel time and maximising operational and on-time performance. End-to-end management solution GTT’s product manager Chad Mack said the new platform is an end-to-end management solution that gives users the data they need to make more informed decisions about their transit operations.Once they pinpoint the problem areas, agencies can make adjustments to enable faster travel times "Transit managers can monitor their transit operations using real-time and historical data to assess operational performance,” Mack said. “This data has been available for years, but Opticom Analytics’ value comes from the ability to collect and analyse the data in a meaningful way.” Knowing where a transit system’s problem areas are can help agencies make changes that improve their on-time performance and ridership. “Once they pinpoint the problem areas, agencies can make adjustments to enable faster travel times and reduce the chance of a delay,” Mack said. "Those adjustments can range from adjusting the posted schedule to fine-tuning the system concerning when Opticom TSP is allowed to request priority to help get a bus through the intersection faster." Opticom CVP and GPS-enabled hardware The analytics software relies on data collected from Opticom’s GPS-enabled hardware and the Opticom CVP. Data logs from the vehicle equipment are securely uploaded to the analytics platform via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. GTT’s system provides data that goes beyond what is typically collected from a vehicle’s onboard computer. GPS data from the Opticom system is logged at 1-second intervals for accurate and detailed vehicle and intersection information. “There are a lot of valuable insights that can be found by collecting data every second versus only logging every 15 or 30 seconds,” Mack explained.Agencies can fix problem areas by adjusting the priority control system, adding components or performing maintenance The information is compiled into a web-based application that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Users can sort and view performance metrics based on date, speed, travel time, vehicle type, priority control usage and more. Efficient performance assessment The platform gives users the data needed to assess, reveal and correct typical problems: Assess performance: The interface provides an easy means to evaluate vehicle, route and intersection performance, including on-time performance, current vehicle location, signal priority usage and travel time. Reveal problem areas: Mapping functions reveal problems, including slowdowns and delays caused by heavy traffic or a lack of priority control. Route and vehicle metrics show on-time performance and other key metrics. Make corrections: Agencies can fix problem areas by adjusting the priority control system, adding components or performing maintenance.
Smart cities have embraced the use of traffic preemption systems to provide public transit and emergency vehicles with priority at intersections. At the 10th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) product manager Chad Mack will discuss how traffic and public safety departments can use analytics to assess, reveal and improve traffic signal preemption performance, helping to change the way communities move. Smarter cities “In recent years, priority control and traffic sensing technologies have helped make cities smarter by connecting vehicles to infrastructure,” Mack says. “As the technologies have advanced, software has been developed to harness the abundance of data generated by these systems to provide analytical reports on where improvements have been or could be made.” Mack’s presentation will feature case studies that explore how cities use intelligent transportation tools to change the way their communities move. Discussion topics include the new roles of public safety and transportation, how data generated from priority control systems is turned into useful insights to move public vehicles quicker and more efficiently, and how analytics can help to address future challenges associated with growing cities. “Cities are looking to connected infrastructure systems to solve mobility challenges,” Mack says. “Analytics tools can help to reveal and resolve previously unseen issues with traffic systems.” "Analytics tools can helpto reveal and resolve previously unseen issues with traffic systems" Connecting vehicles with intersections By connecting vehicles with intersections and allowing them to request priority, preemption systems help public transit agencies to adhere to schedules and assist emergency responders in reaching the scene of incidents quickly and safely. The Opticom™ Analytics platform – released by GTT in June – provides insights which enable communities to make informed decisions about changes or upgrades to the preemption system. Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest. This 10th annual event includes two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time. Mack’s presentation forms part of Workshop Session 1, ‘The Changing Pace of Mobility in America’, 10-11.30am on October 3. The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference takes place at the Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque, Iowa, October 3-4.