Atlanta launches North Avenue Smart Corridor Demonstration Project


The City of Atlanta has launched the North Avenue Smart Corridor Demonstration Project, making the route the most ‘connected’ stretch of roadway in the State of Georgia in the USA.

Funded by the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond, the project will deploy the latest technology in adaptive signal systems for a safer, more efficient flow of transit, personal vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as prioritize emergency response vehicles traveling through the corridor.

The Corridor features Surtrac, an artificial intelligence-based adaptive signal system that was originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has been shown to reduce travel times by 25% by eliminating stops and reducing wait times, not by increasing travel speeds. The reduction in stops and delays reduces wear and tear on vehicles and the road, and can reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality.

North Avenue was chosen for the Project because of its prominence as a major east-west artery in the city, serving numerous destinations, institutions and employment centers, such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Coca-Cola, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and AT&T.

Nearly half of North Avenue is a state route (SR 8), making collaboration with GDOT essential, and in coordination with the agency, Renew Atlanta deployed technology and equipment at the 18 signalized intersections along the corridor to support Surtrac, a video surveillance and detection system, connected vehicle system, and Bluetooth-based travel time and origin/destination system. Renew Atlanta restriped the corridor to support improved safety and the demonstration of autonomous vehicles that rely on clear road markings and signage to navigate accurately.

The road’s unique features offer the recently expanded research partnership between the City and Georgia Tech an opportunity to study how to improve safety over the current higher than average accident rates, as well as better manage multimodal traffic flow during normal conditions and during special events.

In collaboration with the Project, where advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies have been deployed by the City in an active testbed, Georgia Tech will use those technologies to advance a ‘Green Corridor’, through a hybrid implementation of data collection, integration, analytics and advanced simulation modeling.

The project lays the foundation for further advancements in real-time, dynamic, data-driven smart city applications, and will support online dashboards for system monitoring and operations, closing the control loop with tailored messages direct to individual travelers. Local company Applied Information, is providing all the connected-vehicle infrastructure for the corridor, and has developed the Atlanta Travel Safely smartphone app.

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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).