Orlando, Fla.’s city government is testing new technology that can monitor and predict traffic patterns on roads and highways.

According to an announcement Monday, Oct. 17, from Alcatel-Lucent, the city is testing the company’s new Intelligent Travel Time System (ITTS) application in downtown Orlando through November. The system uses analytics from Bell Labs and Bluetooth technology to provide real-time traffic information.

The ITTS provides travel time information based on route selection, and is visualized on maps; real-time traffic congestion monitoring; traffic predictions during weather events; speed distributions for road lanes; an XML interface; and live traffic updates provided through social media.

“The type of information that we are able to gather through an ITTS system not only helps with managing both day-to-day and special event traffic in real-time, but will also be extremely valuable to regional planning organizations, municipalities and public safety agencies,” said Charles Ramdatt, a city of Orlando transportation engineer, in a prepared statement released by Alcatel-Lucent. “In addition, the Bluetooth radio technology in cell phones and cost-effective sensors along the roadside has a green benefit since the equipment can be powered by alternative energy sources.”

The 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems is meeting this week in Orlando. Held once every three years in the U.S., the conference is expected to draw 8,000 delegates from 65 countries. Connected vehicles, intelligent intersections and other smart technologies are expected to be hot topics.

According to the World Congress, the Florida Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation will develop in Orlando one of five National Test Beds for connected vehicle technology. The IT will enable vehicles and roadways to communicate with each other, and should reduce accidents, driving costs and traffic congestion, officials say.

Several live demonstrations of intelligent transportation technologies have been put in place in preparation for the conference. On Friday, Oct. 14, “pedestrian crosswalk detectors” were unveiled near Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The video detection sensors see waiting pedestrians and move them safely across the street.

Another demonstration is testing connected vehicle sensors on traffic poles. The sensors detect changes in traffic conditions and adjust signal timing accordingly. Drivers of connected vehicles “will receive notifications from the signals and can be given optimal speeds for making green lights, allowing drivers to catch what the companies are calling the ‘Green Wave,’ reducing starts and stops,” according to the Environment News Service.

Photo: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs gears up at a press conference Oct. 5 in advance of this week's 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. Photo courtesy of World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.