Delivering Smart Work Zone Monitoring in Minneapolis and Oklahoma

The Challenge: Work Zone Navigation for Commuters

Deployed Sensors in Minneapolis

Deployed Sensors in Minneapolis. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.

For over 15 years, Salander LLC has been a leader in technological applications for work zone management. It was offered a work zone management project in Minneapolis that required a smart work zone, which is a type of traffic control technology used in roadway work zones to increase safety for construction workers, offer real-time information on travel, route motorists through a work zone efficiently.

The main focus for this Minneapolis smart work zone project was on decreasing the impact of the construction zone on commuters. As a result, Salander needed to provide live and accurate travel time information to guide travellers through the zone efficiently.

The Solution

The SMATS real-time, WiFi and Bluetooth traffic sensors and data analytics platform were chosen as the solution to the Salander Minneapolis work zone project.

The SMATS TrafficXHub™ sensors detect WiFi and Bluetooth signals and calculate live travel times and origin destination data. The collected data is automatically synced to the SMATS web analytics platform, iNode™, using GSM communication.

The iNode’s™ MAC address matching and outlier filtering run in real-time during projects, guaranteeing that the information provided is accurate. Other benefits of the SMATS TrafficXHub™ include ease of installation, the ability to adjust the sensors for any duration, and the ability to remotely access data through iNode™.

The Results

A smart work zone was created with the use of the SMATS TrafficXHub™ sensors. A total of fifteen sensors were installed to populate variable message signs (VMS) along the roadways undergoing work in Minneapolis. With the SMATS sensors Salander was able to establish 22 links and seven routes in the work zone for monitoring.

Travel time data was extracted from the iNode™ API and 10 VMS were populated within the north metro work zone. The variable message signs showed comparative alternative route travel times to motorists affected by the work zone.

As the link analysis shows, travel times fluctuate between different lengths of the roadway at different times of the day. Broadcasting the live travel times of the various routes meant that Salander was able to optimize traffic flow by supporting and informing motorists with accurate and up-to-date information on their drive. The variable message signs have successfully helped motorists navigate through the work zone and easily make informed travel decisions.

VMS Populated by TrafficXHub

VMS Populated by TrafficXHub. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.

Who is Salander?

Salander has been offering Intelligent Work Zone technology for over 15 years. Its vision includes developing and positioning technology for safety, mobility, efficiency, and communications for all work zones, irrespective of the transport medium. ITS Heartland acknowledged Salander’s success in 2017 by honouring the company with the title “Best in ITS” (Intelligent Transportation Solutions).

Comparison of Travel Routes on iNode

Comparison of Travel Routes on iNode. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.

Why SMATS?

Short duration work zones present specific challenges. It is impractical to use traffic control processes and procedures that take longer to set up and dismantle than the planned work does overall. Additionally, traffic is unpredictable. This makes real-time traffic data crucial for the provision of accurate information for motorists. SMATS also offered good durability and cable powering options, and high sensor accuracy.

The SMATS team has proven knowledge of the products and an in-depth understanding of the critical role that live travel time plays in work zone transportation efficiency and safety. The fact that SMATS had the required innovative technology was clear, and they understood how to drive Salander’s project goals.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.

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