NYC launching IoT system to monitor traffic and reboot malfunctioning cameras

Power-over-Ethernet switches will manage sensors and cameras at 10,000 intersections

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Traffic engineers in New York City will soon be able to reboot malfunctioning stoplight cameras without leaving their desks, thanks to a new IoT project. The city's Department of Transportation is working with Transition Networks to deploy Power-over-Ethernet (PoE+) switches at 10,000 traffic intersections.

PoE systems pass electric power and data on single cable to various devices, including wireless access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones. The Managed Hardened Gigabit PoE+ Switch from Transition is designed for outdoor environments and can supply up to 30 watts per port on all eight ports simultaneously.  

The switches power cameras and sensors at intersections. The cameras track traffic and pedestrian flows while the sensors count cars and support the city's Connected Vehicle project. The data is transmitted to the city's traffic monitoring center. 

The Connection Vehicle project will support Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries and reduce damage to vehicles and infrastructure. The NYC deployment uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and infrastructure-to-pedestrian (IVP) communications. V2V communications include blind spot and lane change warnings. V2I communications track cars that speed and run red lights. IVP alerts include warnings to cars when people are in a crosswalk and guidance to blind pedestrians via cell phones.

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In addition to monitoring activity and collecting data, the new system includes a reboot feature. When there is a problem with a traffic signal, a technician goes out to check the device and reset it manually. Transportation officials will use this new system to reset the devices remotely, without having to close lanes and stop traffic.

Transition's Device Management System software also creates an interactive map of all connected devices, making it easier for city engineers to identify problems in the system. 
The city is counting on these new tools and data collection to improve safety, traffic management and transportation citywide.

New York needs all the help it can get with traffic. Uber and Lyft have increased traffic congestion and trucks deliver 1.5 million packages from Amazon to city residents every day.
In Manhattan, the average speed is 7 mph, about 23% slower than 10 years ago.

Transition, a unit of Communications Systems,  produces services and devices to provide security and surveillance, data center networking, business Ethernet, Fiber-to-the-Desk and wireless backhaul. Customers include enterprises, integrators, service providers, federal agencies, and the military.

"Installing smart devices across cities allows transit agencies to enact changes that improve safety and traffic flow; our solution provides the power and connection to make it all possible," Anita Kumar, a director of product management and software engineering at Transition Networks, said in a news release. "Smart device installation will grow in importance as transit agencies look to improve service, create efficiencies and increase quality of life for growing cities."

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Transition Networks is supporting New York City's Connected Vehicle program which is working reduce pedestrian deaths due to car accidents.

Image: NYC Connected Vehicle Project