INTERVIEW: Siemens ITS president Marcus Weltz


Speaking exclusively to Traffic Technology Today, Marcus Welz, president of ITS for Siemens, discusses how the company is pushing for progress in transportation  – with one system in Seattle already saving commuters 86 hours a year

The transportation industry is in the midst of transformation – specifically, involving intelligent transportation systems (ITS), connected vehicles, autonomy and mobility-as-a-service. Speaking exclusively to Traffic Technology Today, Siemens ITS CEO, Marcus Welz, discusses how the company is pushing for progress.

“We have certainly seen a lot of changes in the way that people travel and there are a lot of new technologies out there that can significantly improve safety and efficiency in transportation,” says Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens ITS.

Siemens ITS is playing an active role in this transformation. Its technologies are already being used to make cities smarter, with proven success in projects like the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) vehicle-to-everything (V2X) pilots in Tampa, Florida and New York City.

Another current project in Seattle, USA (below) is transforming daily trips for commuters. “We have built an operating system to create smarter cities based on data-driven digital traffic and fleet management,” said Welz. “It’s an operating system where we can predict and sell traffic patterns in real time.

“We have installed an advanced traffic management that reduces travel times in commuter corridors from 35 minutes to 20 minutes for each trip. Commuters traveling every weekday, saving 10 minutes each way, would will save 86 hours annually.

The achievements of Siemens ITS, such as the travel time-savings in Seattle, are made possible thanks to the company building digital twins of project cities’ infrastructure, which enables data to be communicated between infrastructure points and vehicles with connected technologies.

“These technologies are optimizing mobility on a massive scale,” said Welz. “For example, if a driver is traveling home on an interstate highway and there is an accident, then they will receive personalized information – sent straight to their vehicle – about the quickest route that they should take to get home.”

“Our systems utilize a combination of DSRC, Bluetooth, cellular and wi-fi technologies,” says Welz. “We also have projects running in Las Vegas and California and almost every month we not only add new locations to our project portfolio, but we serve different application needs too.”

Importantly, with the USDOT reporting that connected vehicles will be able to prevent at least 80% of traffic accidents, V2X technologies are expected to make transportation systems considerably safer. Thanks to algorithms, sensor technology and continuous data collection helping to prevent accidents from happening, connected technologies can also be used in a range of applications including red-light violation detection, pedestrian detection, and sharing temporary speed limit information, and road and traffic status information directly to vehicles.

By Rachelle Harry

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Rachelle joined Traffic Technology International in early 2016 after having worked for an HR magazine and prior to that, as a freelance sub editor for various lifestyle consumer magazines. As deputy editor, she supports the editor in making each issue and updating the website. Outside of work, she enjoys tap dancing, playing the piano and video games, and eating spicy food.