The adage “work smarter not harder” applies to cities looking for ways to improve efficiencies, enhance public safety, boost livability, and support economic growth by adopting IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. For the City of Dallas, city managers saw that the road ahead—the road to becoming a smart city—included an intentional focus on making data actionable. The city’s vision for its transportation system centered on this idea that data should not only be available, but that it should also enhance decisionmaking, ultimately helping to ease traffic congestion in the greater Dallas area.

To achieve its transportation-related smart-city goals, the City of Dallas is implementing an ATMS (advanced traffic management system) based on the Connected Urban Transport solution from Ericsson, www.ericsson.com. The solution will give Dallas and adjacent cities the ability to aggregate and analyze realtime data from endpoints like traffic sensors and traffic cameras and control traffic lights, school flashers, and message signs. As a result, officials will be able to make better operational decisions based on the most relevant and up-to-date information.

Brenda Connor, head of smart cities and intelligent transport systems for Ericsson North America, suggests improving traffic flow supports city growth and viability in a connected world. “The quality of a community’s transportation infrastructure is a major factor in business and industry investment decisions as well as a factor in talent choosing communities to live in,” Connor says. “With increased urbanization, cities cannot build roads fast enough. While cities must keep growing the transportation infrastructure, they also must more efficiently move people and goods over the existing infrastructure to improve community experience and safety, to reduce emissions, and to save operations costs.”

IoT-enabled traffic management solutions can help cities check these boxes and more. For instance, because traffic does not stop at city boundaries, traffic management solutions that enable realtime data sharing across municipalities can also open doors for implementing and maintaining traffic plans across agency boundaries, coordinating multi-agency responses to incidents, and performing realtime analysis of regional performance measures. By automating and facilitating performance monitoring and system management and maintenance across departments, cities, and counties, urban transport solutions can help smart cities and their neighboring communities derive robust traffic-related data and gather actionable business intelligence.

Ericsson hopes the City of Dallas will be a template for other cities looking to “work smarter” with the help of the IoT. “The current federal administration promises investment in critical infrastructure,” Connor adds. “This investment has the potential to enable geographically relevant IoT-enabled traffic management ecosystems to emerge using pioneers such as City of Dallas as the reference.”

Implementation of the advanced traffic management system in Dallas began late last year and is expected to be fully operational by 2020. With its fast-growing urban population, the city hopes the technology will help it efficiently and affordably manage increasing traffic demands on its infrastructure while also improving convenience and road safety for its citizens.

Challenge: Leverage data to manage increasing urban traffic while improving road safety.

Risk: Antiquated traffic management systems will not be able to keep up with growing demands on urban infrastructure.

Solution:  The City of Dallas is adopting and implementing Ericsson’s Connected Urban Transport solution to modernize its traffic management system.

Payoff: The solution will help ease traffic congestion and enable data sharing across cities and counties to make roads safer, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

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