The Secret Nerve Center Under LA’s Streets
To keep this city moving, Los Angeles has installed a computerised traffic overlord. The Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) system links every single traffic light in the metropolitan area, and adjusts the timing based on input from thousands of sensors and cameras. The aim is to sync the traffic signals together, to limit congestion.
Less time spent waiting at a red light means a shorter commute, but also less pollution in an area that is famously prone to smog. Results seem to show the system is working, with the city’s Department of Transportation saying average travel speeds are up 16% from 1997 to 2013, and travel time down 12%. Emissions have also fallen 3% to 4%. If the system were turned off tomorrow, someone with a five-mile commute to work would see it jump from around 17 minutes to around 20.
Read more via BBC News