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Analytics to Help Florida DOT Better Understand Its Roadways

The Florida Department of Transportation is partnering with INRIX to deploy the company’s IQ Signal Analytics platform across 3,000 miles of roadways in the state in the hopes of gathering new insights.

Aerial view of a Florida highway.
State transportation officials in Florida will soon have a much better understanding of traffic moving across thousands of miles of roadway with the help of new traffic analytics technology.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is partnering with transportation technology firm INRIX to implement its IQ Signal Analytics platform to cover some 3,000 miles of “high-priority corridors” in Florida.

“It is important to get traffic analytics because roadway systems are typically interconnected,” said Trey Tillander, executive director of transportation technology at FDOT. “Improving safety and mobility for all road users is at the top of the agenda for FDOT.”

The INRIX Signal Analytics technology is also being used by transportation agencies in 17 states, and is a cloud-based intersection analytics platform based on anonymous GPS-equipped vehicle data. Some of the traffic movements the system analyzes include vehicle direction, speed, stops and even events such as when a vehicle needs more than one signal cycle to make it through an intersection — known in traffic analysts jargon as “split failures.”

“We measure things like, ‘Did you stop? If so, for how long?’” said Shaun Quayle, senior traffic signals and safety engineer with INRIX.

“We directly measure the trajectory of individual vehicles in an anonymized fashion to aggregate relative performance of the signalized intersections over time and relative to one another,” Quayle added in an email.

The system directly measures traffic flow across not just one traffic corridor, but many, to get an understanding of traffic impacts which may be slowing traffic at one intersection and how they may go on to affect the flow of other roadways. These findings are made real for state transportation analysts in a data dashboard.

“The dashboard can support traffic operations by helping assess operations at signalized intersections, and prioritizing signal timing projects,” Tillander explained. “The dashboard can also support projects with the before and after analyses of intersections and delays experienced by motorists.”

Transportation departments can also hope to better understand system improvements like transit-signal priority, bike and pedestrian infrastructure and other developments.

“Transit often operates in mixed traffic flows, so transit agencies will be particularly interested in stops, control delay, and split failures for the movements along their transit route,” said Quayle. “This tool can show — across all movements — the impacts of implementing transit signal priority or other transit enhancements as a reflection of the total quality of traffic flow at the intersection.”

The technology will also generate daily performance metrics and can monitor travel times for trips within identified corridors. Weekly and monthly intersection reports are also available.
Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.

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