Austin to use Intuicom’s wireless systems for traffic signal data connection

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The Texas state capital, Austin, is replacing legacy copper wiring with broadband wireless technology, in order to connect traffic signals in areas outside its fiber network.

With less than 85% of its intersections connected to fiber, the City of Austin was challenged with finding an effective way to bring data from the remaining signals back to the Austin Transportation Department’s (ATD) Traffic Management Center (TMC), so that engineers could monitor and upload timing plans to them. As many agencies and municipalities across the USA have discovered, fiber simply is not a viable option for some intersections. In situations like this, broadband wireless is proving itself to be the ideal solution. Wireless communication has continually demonstrated itself to be a cost-effective medium for transmitting bandwidth-intense data from the intersections back to TMCs across the country.

ATD has now awarded the Wireless Traffic Communications contract for the City of Austin’s Traffic Signal Expansion Initiative to Intuicom Incorporated, a premier supplier of wireless solutions to the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) market. The contract encompasses the wireless traffic interconnect for the city, and Intuicom’s BroadBand Solutions (BBS) radios were selected for their extended range and secure, high capacity throughput, providing the overriding framework for the project. The award was made in conjunction with Intuicom’s authorized distributor for the region, Twincrest Technologies, which was formed in May 2008 as the distributor for Wavetronix products in the state of Texas. Since then, the company has grown in product lines offered, and now also covers Louisiana and Mississippi.

Augmenting the BBS radios, the ATD chose Intuicom’s EB-6 PLUS high-speed wireless transceivers, providing Ethernet connectivity where line of sight is an issue. The combination ensures that the ATD has reliable and secure high-speed data communications connecting all the city’s intersections. The scalable wireless solution integrates the City of Austin’s IP-based traffic signal controllers, while providing centralized monitoring and management of the entire traffic network from the city’s TMC.

At speeds up to 108Mbps, Intuicom’s BBS units are advanced wireless 802.11a-compatible transceivers, engineered to address the extended range and throughput requirements demanded by ATD’s bandwidth-intensive applications. Capable of operating as the access point, end-point, or repeater in point-to-point and point-to multipoint configurations, the EB-6 PLUS adds the flexible, multi-functional connectivity to round out the communications package. The ATD is using the EB-6 PLUS to provide the wireless communication link between the city’s school zone flashers and the nearest intersection.

Drag-and-drop network configuration, real-time bi-directional network link data, and a performance dashboard that intuitively communicates network performance parameters, including ping latency, signal-to-noise ratio, and Tx/Rx CCQ, are just of few of the advanced features inherent in the company’s BroadbandPro Enterprise Management Software. Intuicom says the software is so unique and powerful that it has patented it.

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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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