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Take the Road Less Traveled: Minimize Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emissions

Doug Tinning

Product Marketing Manager, TCS DSS

 

From the ancient Roman road system to the Silk Road connecting China and Europe to Route 66 linking Los Angeles to Chicago in the U.S., civilizations throughout history have converted well-traveled routes into formal roads to defend borders, advance trade, and supply frontiers.

With roads comes traffic, and with traffic, congestion. As populations around the world continue to concentrate into large urban centers, the roads and highways servicing them are becoming ever more congested. Worldwide, the number of vehicles is projected to exceed available road space no matter how much capacity is added.

Figure 1:  Vehicle Traffic Exceeds Road Capacity

Throughout most of 2020 and early in 2021, global traffic pressures were temporarily relieved due to pandemic lockdowns. Traffic volumes are now returning to normal so that even on good days, traffic stalls and delays are commonplace. While being held up is irritating and disruptive, there is a far larger, even global, issue at play: massive amounts of carbon emissions from idling vehicles in millions.

Traffic congestion is considered one of the largest contributors to the problem of air pollution today. A major part of this pollution is due to emissions from vehicles stopping and starting.

In fact, a Harvard Study predicts that the estimated public health cost of the premature deaths from vehicle emissions will climb to more than USD17 billion by 2030. The cost related to premature death from traffic congestion is dwarfed by the cost of time wasted by people sitting in traffic jams, the economic cost of which is expected to reach nearly USD100 billion annually by 2030.

Traffic planners, engineers, and transport experts over the world are working overtime to find practical solutions to this ever more urgent problem. The answer will not be found in a single silver bullet solution, but rather from the synergy of many smaller complementary actions and technologies spanning multiple disciplines and industries.

Put into simple terms, national, regional, and local transportation agencies need integrated views of operations and events at street, corridor, and freeway levels because increased traffic volumes, congestion, and incidents impact not only traffic but can also affect emergency services, public transport, and commerce as well as air quality.

They also need a real-time, multi-aspect view of transportation grids from ground level if they are to successfully respond to incidents affecting operations, traffic flows, and public safety.

TCS Transportation Solution

TCS has developed a solution that can play a key role in cities’ struggle to minimize traffic congestion, increase public safety, and achieve carbon emission and sustainability targets.  TCS uniquely combines the power of big data analytics, AI and ML, and industry models to provide insights tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of every transport network.

The software collects and analyzes all types of data, from networks, sensors, telematics, and open city data, to provide real-time insights that enable leaders to keep their cities moving efficiently and safely while still achieving sustainability targets.

Features

TCS enhances city and traffic operations – and the services empowering them – to become more resilient and intelligent by cutting across operations and systems data silos. The insights gained from multi-department data drive more effective situational awareness and better departmental collaboration. Features include:

  • Integrated Operational Dashboard that allows users to visualize, monitor, and analyze the impact of traffic network events and alerts.
  • Integrated Video Management System that enables real-time event qualification. Integration with GIS servers enables users to perform geo-spatial analysis and render information on customizable maps with GeoServer integration and PostGIS database.

Benefits

  • Ensure faster, coordinated responses by viewing multi-modal siloed data from across the organization
  • Provide improved real-time locational and situational awareness and insights
  • Increase collaborative and coordinated responses through rapid delivery of situational information
  • Minimize incident management process inefficiencies and latencies
  • Deliver effective incident response planning by onboarding simulation models to assess the impact on traffic
  • Access real-time traffic and alert information via Integrated APIs
  • Plan incident and response proactively against events city-wide through integration with city open data sources

TCS offers pre-built sustainability modules spanning transportation, utilities, energy, workplace resilience, water, climate risk, emissions, and more. Visit here to learn more, and email us with questions at tcs.dssg@tcs.com.

 

About the author

Doug Tinning
Doug Tinning is the Product Marketing Manager for TCS’s Digital Software & Solutions Intelligent Urban Exchange smart cities product.