Rapid Flow Blog

Pittsburgh's Smart City proposal combines data, energy and transportation

Posted on June 09, 2016

Pittsburgh’s application for the $50 million Smart City Challenge grant calls for a series of transportation spines, traffic signals that give priority to transit and freight vehicles, and an “electric avenue” between Downtown and Hazelwood for driverless vehicles charged at solar power stations.


A key element of the Pittsburgh proposal would be a ”smart spine system” on six streets that feed into the Golden Triangle: Penn, Liberty, Fifth, Forbes and Second avenues, and Bigelow Boulevard.

The system would use the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, a collaborative led by Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and operated by the University of Pittsburgh, to collect location data from various sources along those spines. The sources would include personal, public transit, government and freight-hauling vehicles; street and traffic lights; and social media.

That information would be used to monitor traffic and control traffic lights on those streets, a much larger version of the Surtrac signal control system developed by Carnegie Mellon University and used in East Liberty and Larimer. As part of the system, traffic lights would use sensors to identify transit and freight vehicles and allow them to move through the signals quicker.

That eventually would be expanded throughout the city to all traffic signals.


Read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This entry was posted in News.
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