Technology

Calif. city launches new 'smart' signal priority system for mass transit

Posted on July 8, 2019

Connected Signals is providing Arcadia, Calif., with a proprietary, cloud-based Transit Signal Priority (TSP) solution.
Connected Signals
Connected Signals is providing Arcadia, Calif., with a proprietary, cloud-based Transit Signal Priority (TSP) solution.
Connected Signals

The City of Arcadia, Calif.and Connected Signals Inc. announced the introduction of new “smart” signal priority systems for the city’s mass transit system. The program integrates Arcadia’s existing systems and incorporates Connected Signals’ patent pending vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology to improve mobility. The technology reduces traffic signal delays, and uses artificial intelligence to anticipate users’ arrivals at signalized intersections and then request priority, thereby providing more efficiency and a smoother transit experience.

Connected Signals is providing Arcadia with a proprietary, cloud-based solution, Transit Signal Priority (TSP). TSP works on hardware already outfitted in the buses, and it operates along the city’s fixed-bus routes to reduce trip time by improving a bus’ ability to get in the “green wave,” either by extending a green light or by having a signal return to green more quickly.

Arcadia had specific parameters for the project. In order to eliminate the need for capital outlays and to minimize maintenance expenses going forward, the city preferred a software-only solution. The city also wanted to address what Los Angeles Metro calls first/last mile, providing and facilitating safety and experiential improvements for the first/last mile of a commuter’s journey as they approach or depart a station.

Traditional approaches to TSP require the installation of new hardware at every supported intersection, usually at significant cost in time and money. Connected Signals’ system uses only existing infrastructure, including the cellular network and cloud computing, to provide services at much lower cost and with much shorter lead times.

The company’s approach is also expansible to a wide range of other services, including pedestrian priority, EMS preemption, cyclist detection and prioritization, and HOVE prioritization. All of these features can be provided by deploying new software, without requiring hardware installation or changes. Finally, the fact that no new hardware is installed means that long-term maintenance costs are significantly lower than for traditional systems, according to the company.

The collaboration began in June 2018 and was supported by a grant from Los Angeles Metro Net Toll Grants program.

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