LYT recently partnered up with TriMet to deploy the company’s next-generation Transit Signal Priority (TSP) cloud-based software solution as part of TriMet’s Division Transit Project.
But what is this technology?
Bobby Lee, director or marketing at LYT, breaks down how TSP works and how the company’s other cloud-based priority and preemption solutions benefit transit agencies.
LYTing the Way
LYT’s solutions place a focus on solving traffic congestion via its software-based urban mobility platform.
“LYT’s solutions bring the benefits of machine learning principles, artificial intelligence technology, and efficient optimization strategies to traffic signals all across America,” Lee says.
LYT’s TSP solution uses machine learning principles and artificial intelligence to provide perfectly-timed green lights to transit vehicles. This will help buses and light-rail vehicles stay on time.
With the partnership between LYT and TriMet, LYT.transit enables Portland-area traffic signals to take advantage of the power of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies to prioritize bus travel, improving timing and reliability for transit riders.
“Our machine learning algorithms learn ridership and traffic patterns, meaning that transit vehicles can serve riders with more reliability and consistency thanks to intuitive signal priority when needed,” Lee says.
In existing deployments of LYT.transit, the company has seen a 20% reduction in travel times, 14% fuel savings, and a 12% reduction in emissions.
Another LYT solution, the Emergency Vehicle Preemption, helps first responders reach the incident faster and safer than ever before by preconditioning, pre-clearing, and securing the entire travel corridor with preemptive green lights.
With LYT.emergency installed, Lee adds that first responders on their way to an incident scene can rest assured they’ll receive a green light at every signal, every time while reducing the impact that preemption has on other drivers.
“Both solutions are connected to the LYT cloud platform, providing connectivity between emergency and transit vehicles, LYT’s machine learning technology, and the agency’s traffic signal network,” Lee says. “LYT Speed’s digital twin mapping provides one-stop alerting and actionable insights, empowering dispatchers and traffic engineers to immediately and intuitively understand fleet performance, priority and preemption activities, and traffic signal status.”
The LYT.emergency solution has helped emergency responders increase their vehicle speed while responding to a call by 69% and reduced incident response times by 42 seconds, on average.
LYT has provided an update to traditional priority systems.
“The traditional optical-based priority/preemption emitters that drivers are most familiar with were first installed over 57 years ago,” Lee says.
Among U.S. cities with preemption or priority systems, 40% of them still use this almost six-decade-old technology, according to an LYT-commissioned survey published this past June.
“This traditional optical-based system has limited line-of-sight, impeded by sunlight, rain, fog, and limited visibility based on the angle of approach,” Lee says. “In other words, unless the conditions are perfect, first responders and transit vehicles may not receive a green light.”
Inconsistent green light priority means riders and drivers, alike, are left waiting and fuming, negating the benefits of Transit Signal Priority, according to Lee.
Partnering with Agencies
LYT has partnered with transit agencies along the way and can install both Emergency Vehicle Preemption and Transit Signal Priority in the same intersections.
With LYT.emergency, first responders face a 70% higher risk of a side impact collision without the protection of emergency vehicle preemption, according to the U.S. Department and Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
“Unreliable green light preemptions mean that our first responders are put in harm’s way — left guessing whether they need to speed up, slow down, or detour around an intersection or onto the other side of the road to get to an emergency,” Lee says.
Agencies must gather the necessary information on their end to get started with LYT. Once the information is provided, LYT’s traffic and software engineers can install the solutions within “a few days to a few weeks,” according to Lee.
Lee adds that there is also no field hardware installation needed.
“This saves our partner agencies hundreds of hours of testing and calibration time, along with the risk of injury out in the field,” Lee says. “Notably, one customer saved close to $1.5 million in labor and installation costs deploying LYT.”
The work doesn’t stop at the installation, though. LYT’s engineers monitor a partner agency’s priority or preemption activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We provide our partner agencies with immediate alerting and ongoing suggestions based on performance monitoring,” Lee says. “LYT’s machine learning algorithms are constantly relearning traffic and transit movements, producing enough performance insights to match the equivalent of six traffic studies a year for each partner agency.”
LYT acts as an independent advisor for all partner agencies, and the data generated is owned by the agency itself.
“LYT will help them parse, decipher, and put into action insights gleaned from the data,” Lee says. “Bottomline, we’re the agency’s trusted advocate. One call takes care of it all, even if it means we must refer our customer to a different solution.”
LYT at the End of the Tunnel
LYT faces its share of challenges, and the amount of money invested into roadway and transit infrastructure is among them.
“The lack of investment in our roadway and transit infrastructure can hold back partner agencies wanting to catch up to newer-generation intelligent connected traffic technologies, like LYT,” Lee says.
LYT found the disinvestment in its community’s infrastructure can hurt its ability to provide the technology needed to help solve a community’s congestion issues.
“While we would like to provide LYT to every community in America, we recognize that many partner agencies may not have the familiarity with how to bring their traffic infrastructure or fleet onboard vehicle hardware up to date,” Lee adds.
Collaboration was a lesson learned during the early testing phases of TSP.
“LYT quickly learned how important it is to collaborate closely with the partner traffic agency early on to understand its operational objectives, the uniqueness of its equipment, and its challenges,” Lee says. “Every agency is truly unique; no two agencies operate the same way.”
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