Chattanooga Expands ‘Smart Intersection’ Network

The city is building on a smaller test project that uses sensors to gather data about traffic movement to help transportation planners make more informed traffic management decisions.

1 minute read

January 9, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of street in Chattanooga, Tennessee with vintage buildings

Fotoluminate LLC / Chattanooga, Tennessee

A ‘smart cities’ project in Chattanooga, Tennessee is creating a network of over 100 ‘smart intersections’ designed to inform better traffic management and map potential electric vehicle charging station locations.

According to an article by Maria Rachal in Smart Cities Dive, “The Chattanooga Department of Innovation Delivery and Performance, working with Seoul Robotics and the Center of Urban Informatics and Progress at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, are installing sensing technology in 86 downtown intersections, building on a testbed established in 2019.”

As part of the program, “sensors track and predict the movement of pedestrians and vehicles, which partners say allows them to better understand traffic flow and road user interactions, and identify potentially unsafe incidents.” The real-world data informs a ‘digital twin,’ a technology used to model potential outcomes. “The digital twin allows them to test and see how a change in traffic light timing, for example, could affect traffic flow.”

“While the earlier focus of the testbed largely centered on understanding safety issues surrounding vulnerable road users, [Center of Urban Informatics and Progress Founding Director Mina Sartipi] said this next phase of the testbed and its growing footprint will allow researchers to focus on ‘next-generation transportation,’ including electrification, connected vehicles, and potentially automated vehicles.”

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