City of Arcadia and Connected Signals partner to improve and enhance mass transit with V2I solutions
The City of Arcadia, California and Connected Signals, Inc. are introducing new smart signal priority systems for the city’s mass transit system. The program integrates Arcadia’s existing systems with 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’s ability to get in the “green wave,” either by extending a green light or by having a signal return to green more quickly.
The onboard tablet, which is provided with a unique cryptographic certificate for authentication, determines vehicle position, heading, and speed and, in cooperation with the cloud-based server, determines which signal is being approached. The server uses models built using machine learning applied to data collected from previous trips to estimate when the bus will arrive at the signal based on a variety of factors. The server also has access to information on the current and predicted state of the signal in question.
If a TSP request is in order, the server informs the appropriate controller via the V2If and the existing signal network that a bus is expected at the calculated time.
The system can utilize software already deployed in the controllers with the ability to implement an early or extended green, or manage specific change requests directly, to reduce the average signal delay for buses traveling through signalized intersections. The software also returns the controller’s response to the request, which can be used for system monitoring, or relayed to the bus to tell the operator about the expected state of the upcoming signal, as desired.
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 LA 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.
Connected Signals’ 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.
The collaboration began in June 2018 and was supported by a grant from Los Angeles Metro Net Toll Grants program.