The City of Marietta in Georgia, USA, has entered the testing phase of the new connected smart city technology that is being used elsewhere in the state as part of the Renew Atlanta program.
The foundation of the system is the Marietta TravelSafely app that will soon be available on Apple and Android devices. Developed by Applied Information Inc. (AII), the TravelSafely app is designed to save lives by reducing emergency services response time and making drivers, cyclists and pedestrians more visible to each other, while also improving traffic flow.
Marietta TravelSafely currently connects first responders, school beacons and driver feedback signs, and will soon be deployed to all the city’s 120 traffic signals and anonymous smartphones using the app to create a connected network. Like all smartphone apps, TravelSafely will be automatically updated with additional functions and improvements.
Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in Marietta will be the first in the USA to connect to each other with a smartphone app that provides information from traffic signals, and warns of approaching first responders and also alerts drivers when entering a school zone. First responders in the first fully connected city will not only be automatically given green lights at pre-cleared intersections, but app users along the vehicle’s route will also be warned of its approach and direction of travel.
Vehicles approaching intersections will communicate with traffic signals so drivers can adapt to traffic flow. Another feature of the app notifies drivers of cyclists and pedestrians ahead, who in turn will be warned if a vehicle is approaching at an unsafe speed.
“Through the everyday use of smartphones and other technology, we see that a connected world just works better. Connecting with Marietta TravelSafely has clearly visible benefits that can help save lives, and make commuting safer and more enjoyable,” said Bryan Mulligan, AII’s president, who also noted that the company will also deploy its hardware across 85 intersections in Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama.
“The whole town is a testbed for the university. What we’re doing is pilot schemes in 2017; and we thought we’d do one of two. As it happens, we’ve got eight underway. Quite quickly we’re getting to 400 and 500 intersections with devices out there, all supporting this technology.”
Marietta City manager Bill Bruton said, “Our goal is to improve the safety of drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, while addressing traffic concerns of our citizens.”