Atlanta and Georgia Tech expand research partnership for Smart City initiatives


The City of Atlanta has expanded the research partnership that it formed in 2015 with the Georgia Institute of Technology to design, implement and study a series of smart city initiatives.

Through the expanded partnership, Georgia Tech will act as the official research partner for the North Avenue Smart Corridor Project, which is funded by the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond program. Atlanta has embraced smart city technologies as tools to address various urban challenges, such as traffic congestion, and promote public safety and environmental sustainability. The North Avenue Smart Corridor Project involves multiple smart city technology components designed to: facilitate and promote safety for pedestrian and bicycle traffic; use the latest-technology adaptive traffic signals for a safer, more efficient flow of bus and vehicular traffic in real-time conditions; and prioritize fire engines and ambulances traveling along the corridor on emergency response calls.

The expanded agreement will enable Georgia Tech to store and analyze data generated by these smart city tools, offering professors and students an opportunity to conduct original research and analyze trends. The city will then use the research and analysis in short- and long-term transportation planning. North Avenue was chosen for the Smart Corridor Project because of its prominence as a major east-west artery running through the Georgia Tech campus in midtown Atlanta and connecting to the Atlanta BeltLine and Freedom Parkway, with a MARTA rail station and multiple bus stops along its length. The road’s unique features offer the partners an opportunity to study how to improve safety, as well as better manage traffic flow during normal traffic conditions and during special events.

“I am proud to announce this expanded partnership between the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Over the past two years, Atlanta has emerged as a national smart city leader because of our collaboration. With this agreement, leading researchers and students at Georgia Tech will be able to study and analyze data coming from motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and transit on North Avenue. The city will then be able to use their insights to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to manage congestion and promote safe, sustainable mobility options on this vital corridor.”

Georgia Tech’s president, G P ‘Bud’ Peterson, commented, “By collecting and analyzing data and traffic patterns in the area immediately adjacent to our campus, we can create a safer and more efficient place to live.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).