NYC will build Power over Ethernet-based IoT system to track traffic & reboot as needed

New York City [1] officials will put Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches at 10,000 intersections in order to remotely repair dysfunctional stoplights.  City traffic engineers are working with vendor Transition Networks (Minneapolis, MN) to build PoE systems in which a single cable can power a number of device such as VoIP phones, IP cameras and wireless access points, the city said.

Note 1.  NYC is this author’s home town (he grew up in Manhattan). This seems to be a very real and useful IoT project!

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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.

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Transition Networks, a unit of Communications Systems, provides services and devices for 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.

According to a company press statement, “This application brings intelligent transportation infrastructure citywide and reinforces the relevance and timeliness of Transition Networks’ strategy of developing smart city Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Transition Networks is working with a major North American telecommunication services company on the deployment of the solution.”

Anita Kumar, a director of product management and software engineering at Transition Networks, said in a news release.”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. Smart device installation will grow in importance as transit agencies look to improve service, create efficiencies and increase quality of life for growing cities.”

Transition Networks Switch Technology Powers Traffic Cameras

Photo courtesy of Transition Networks

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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.

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 (DMS) software also creates an interactive map of all connected devices, making it easier for city engineers to identify problems in the system.  (DMS) software creates an interactive map to see all connected devices, enabling the agency to pinpoint issues and quickly take action. DMS has been an important function for several smart city projects including an installation at New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge.

Transition Networks, “Currently, if a device stops working at an intersection, the agency must take multiple actions prior to deploying a repair technician. This includes scheduling a technician to evaluate the issue and deploying a bucket truck to reach the device. Once the technician is at the site, the lane closures cause significant stress and traffic delays for motorists. Many times the fix only requires a reboot of the device. Transition Networks’ Auto Power Reset (APR) feature provides the ability to remotely reboot or manage Transition Networks’ equipment fixing the issue within minutes and eliminating all of the lane closure requirements. This feature alone will save the agency significant costs and lessen traffic disruptions by reducing the need to send a technician to inspect equipment.”

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New York 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 trafficUber 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.

References:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/nyc-launching-iot-system-to-monitor-traffic-and-reboot-malfunctioning-signals/

https://www.cablinginstall.com/connectivity/article/14071326/transition-networks-takes-on-smart-city-iot-project-for-nyc

 

 

 

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