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Can AI Help Agencies Save Money on Traffic Studies?

As agencies get more comfortable with new ways of analyzing data, UrbanLogiq is betting officials will prefer AI-powered tools over typical traffic-counting methods. Already one city has started using such a product.

Crunching data for traffic studies can cost significant money and time but artificial intelligence can reduce both — that’s the message behind UrbanLogiq’s newest product.

The Canada-based company says its new AI-powered traffic metrics — part of its data analysis offerings — can provide average daily traffic and other metrics to officials cheaper, faster and more complete than the traditional method of commissioning a traffic study.

The product, of course, comes as local and state governments find ways to expand or repurpose data via digital tools and distribution, not only for transportation but property ownership and other areas.

This new data analysis feature gives what the company, in a statement, called “a comprehensive understanding of a city's traffic flow picture without the need for additional costly data collection efforts.”

Costs can vary widely for traffic studies.

UrbanLogiq put the range between $1,500 and $3,500 per intersection. Other estimates go higher, with one traffic engineering firm saying the price has reached as high as $13,000 for complex projects.

"Incorporating AI-powered traffic metrics into our platform allows cities to gain insights without the high costs and time associated with traditional traffic surveys,” said UrbanLogiq CEO Mark Masongsong in the statement. “Our goal is to empower planners and engineers with data-driven tools that support more informed decision-making at a fraction of the cost.”

The data analysis model used by the company takes into account historical intersection and road section data when spotting patterns — doing so without officials having to deploy traffic-counting gear on roads.

Clients access the data via the UrbanLogiq platform.

The company said Nanaimo, a city in British Columbia, already is using the new tool, including to calculate crash rates in specific areas, giving officials a deeper understanding of high-risk sections of roads.

"Traffic volumes are a key element of transportation engineering,” said Jamie Rose, the city’s transportation manager, in the statement. “Traditional methods for acquiring this information are costly and typically mean that networkwide data sets can take years to produce and renew.”