RTC showcases new technologies to improve safety and congestion at work zones

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The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has demonstrated how new technologies can improve safety and congestion at road construction sites at its ‘Work Zone of the Future’ showcase event in Las Vegas.

In an ongoing effort to reduce the traffic congestion caused by road construction in the region, RTC is testing a first-of-its kind pilot program to find, inspect and mitigate work zones in real time. As part of the USA’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is promoted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), three technologies were demonstrated at the special event at the Southern Nevada Traffic Management Center. A mock construction zone setup showed how innovative technologies are helping engineers and motorists stay ahead of work zones and manage them in real time. The demonstration included traffic cones, barrels, arrow boards, construction and inspection vehicles, all fitted with new technologies that can communicate with passing vehicles and traffic engineers.

Attendees saw how technologies broadcasting the location of construction equipment and activity have the potential to change how engineers and commuters plan, implement and react to construction zones. The three main systems demonstrated were:

• Nexar’s CityStream – a groundbreaking platform that uses the company’s connected vehicle network to log thousands of daily updates on the movements of hundreds of traffic cones and their effect on traffic in a three square mile pilot area in downtown Las Vegas. The technology will help measure the effects of cones and lane closures on traffic, automate the flow of data into RTC databases, help determine permit compliance with lane closures, streamline construction permit management, and provide more accurate public information (above).

• iCone and Waze – a total of 21 state-of-the-art iCone traffic control devices are broadcasting their locations from inside the work zone to the traveling public through a partnership with the Waze traffic app (above).

• HAAS Alert – state-of-the-art devices being tested on RTC inspection and traffic technician vehicles that broadcast to Waze the location of construction vehicles, equipment and workers in active construction zones to alert traffic engineers and the traveling public of work zones along a route (above).

Demonstrations of the three technologies were featured in real-time on the Waycare incident prediction platform and the Waze crowd-sourced navigation app.

“We are excited to be testing a pilot program that has the potential to help improve traffic flows, worker and driver safety, and work-zone efficiency,” said RTC’s CEO, Tina Quigley. “Work-zone detection and reporting technology is the next level to our Seeing Orange program, which we launched nearly four years ago, and we are hopeful these new technologies will provide significant long-term benefits to both commuters and workers throughout our valley.”

Nexar’s CEO, Eran Shir, added, “We know that collisions occur when motorists don’t have adequate time to react to road conditions or events. Using our CityStream platform to help the RTC find and report construction zones in real time is just one benefit we are excited to share with this community.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.

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