IBM Taking a Hi-Tech Path to Safer, Smarter New Jersey Roadways
ARMONK, N.Y.—IBM announced a new transportation management solution to help minimize congestion and improve traffic flow for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA). This solution, which is part of NJTA’s Advanced Traffic Management Program (ATMP), will serve both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, two of the most heavily traveled highways and busiest toll roads in the United States.
IBM has worked to create a centralized, federated command and control system that manages nearly a thousand devices. Traffic management professionals at the NJTA now have a single, comprehensive view of all signs at their command with intuitive access to the sophisticated tools necessary for nimble management of information such as updating speed limits and travel messages to drivers. Connecting a wide array of systems into a central location that is both dynamic and intelligent enables the NJTA to quickly react and respond to real-time information about roadway conditions that ultimately serves to reduce congestion and delays faced by motorists.
“This first of its kind transportation management solution will help minimize congestion and improve traffic flow for the Garden State,” said IBM North America General Manager Elly Keinan. “With IBM’s Intelligent Transportation solution, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is providing operators a holistic view for monitoring traffic events and conditions through data collection from a variety of roadside devices. Using an Internet of Things approach in creating a modern turnpike will allow the NJTA to easily add enhancements to the road system such as advanced analytics and predictive capabilities in the future for traffic prediction, incident detection, and other roadway optimization capabilities.”
Coming on the heels of the most significant physical infrastructure improvement in NJTA history (a recent widening project that added 170 lane miles of new roadway), the management plan employs advanced rule-based technology that shifts a long standing paradigm of sign management to message management supporting situational awareness and proactive incident management and avoidance. In future phases, the ATMP will use data generated from over 3,000 sensors to further optimize response times for all forms of traffic incidents and reduction of secondary incidents. The new system provides central management of approximately 900 devices that include: variable message (VMS), drum (CM) and portable signs, in addition to newly designed hybrid (VMS/Drum) displays and traffic cameras.
IBM and NJTA have agreed to take a multi-year view when using technology to improve safety and service. The software design was conceived for the long term with a stated intent to deliver new capabilities in short, manageable cycles. The challenge was to establish a framework that would allow the NJTA to improve the utilization of its legacy infrastructure while also introducing new capabilities and building for the future. The initial phases of this program have clearly demonstrated the real impact technology can have in supporting the NJTA traffic management professionals to actively serve all the patrons of both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
This system provides a suite of services to improve each response to an ever-changing set of planned and unplanned roadway events. The rules-based design coupled with a significant degree of abstraction for all devices, such as signs and cameras has enabled a true paradigm shift from device management to roadway management. This transformation has the potential of improving both incident identification and response time. Future ATMP delivery cycles will introduce new functionality such as advanced analytics and predictive capabilities.
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