Nevada selects Alcatel-Lucent’s hardened ethernet equipment for new ITS network

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The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is deploying ruggedized Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) Ethernet hardware to implement a new data network foundation for its next-generation Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

The new network makes it easier to connect and manage the growing mesh of Internet of Things (IoT) devices on the state’s highways, and has been designed to future-proof the data infrastructure and prepare for disruptive technologies being developed in the transportation sector, including weather and road condition sensors, status notification systems, and ultimately connected vehicle communication systems.

The new deployment will support the growth in real-time data sent from various monitoring devices, including IP cameras, weather and road sensors, all connected to the agency’s traffic operation centers (TOCs) that monitor vehicle congestion and road conditions. This information can then be shared with the public or used for signage and signaling to provide travelers with the latest traffic and safety updates, either at the roadside, online and on mobile devices.

To meet the challenge of building a distributed network capable of withstanding Nevada conditions, NDOT is deploying hundreds of hardened, roadside cabinet-ready Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6865 switches, which are designed to withstand temperatures from -40°F to 167°F, variable power conditions, high levels of vibrations, and dirt and dust, and meet stringent electromagnetic compatibility and interference requirements.

The new network employs a Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) protocol that allows IT teams of any size to create a scalable network that can dynamically adjust to topology changes, and cut the time it takes to roll out new devices, services and applications, even in a multi-vendor environment.

“The new solution makes it easier for us to provide the best services throughout the 25 billion miles traveled by our road users each year, providing them with the right information to travel safely, and ultimately reducing the time they spend on the road,” explained Gary Molnar, NDOT’s ITS network manager.

“Everything about the new network allows us to be more dynamic, and identify, troubleshoot and fix issues much quicker. The reliability of the hardware, coupled with the excellent level of technical support from ALE, is a crucial element, as it means we spend less time maintaining equipment and more time focused on delivering the services that impact people’s lives.”

Charles Matthews, ALE’s SVP of North America sales, added, “We will need to consider every possible opportunity to help better manage transportation systems and infrastructure, as they become more integrated with other systems and new technologies, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, driver assistance systems and eventually autonomous vehicles.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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