Salander LLC, has been a leader in technological applications for work zone management for over 15 years. In Minneapolis, they were given a work zone management project where a smart work zone was needed. A smart work zone refers to traffic control technology deployed within a roadway work zone to increase the safety of construction workers, provide “real-time” travel information, and efficiently route motorists through a work zone. The main concern was lessening the impact of the construction zone on commuters. Salander knew that they needed to provide live, accurate travel time information to efficiently navigate travelers through the zone.
SMATS real-time, WiFi & Bluetooth traffic sensors and data analytics platform was chosen as the preferred solution to aid Salander in their work zone project. SMATS TrafficXHub™ sensors can detect both WiFi and Bluetooth signals and calculate live travel time and origin-destination data. The data is automatically synced to SMATS web analytics platform, iNode™, through GSM communication. iNode’s™ MAC address matching and outlier filtering running in real-time during projects ensure the most accurate information is available. The sensors are easy to install, adjustable for any duration, and data is easily accessible remotely through iNode™.
“The accuracy and live data availability provided by SMATS sensors were exactly what we needed. They delivered the tools and support we needed to create an efficient, accurate ITS for our work zone.”
The people at Salander have been providing Intelligent Work Zone technology for more than 15 years. Their vision entails developing and positioning technology for safety, mobility, efficiency and communications for all work zones, no matter the transportation medium. In 2017 their successes were acknowledged by ITS Heartland, being honoured with the title “Best in ITS” (Intelligent Transportation Solutions).
Short duration work zones have specific challenges. It is not practical to employ traffic control processes and procedures that take longer to set up and take down than carry out the planned work. As well, traffic’s unpredictability makes real-time traffic data crucial for accurate information. Additionally, the durability, cable powering options, and accuracy of the sensors were appealing.
“The project is a design-build, where maintenance of traffic and lessening the impact on commuters and weekenders going up north to cabins/etc was very important,” says Salander’s project manager JP Story. “The team proposed a smart work zone system with WiFi & Bluetooth detection to provide comparative travel time signage to the motorists so they could make informed decisions about their routes.” The story explains, “SMATS WiFi and Bluetooth sensors serve as guidance for our project consultants for traffic signal timing for arterial roads mainly effected by the re-routing of traffic around construction.”
The SMATS team has proven knowledge of the products and an in-depth understanding of the critical role that live travel time plays in work zone transportation efficiency and safety. It was clear that SMATS had the required innovative technology and understood how to drive Salander’s project goals.
VMS Populated by TrafficXHub
Comparison of Travel Routes on iNode
With SMATS TrafficXHub™ sensors, a smart work zone system was created. Fifteen sensors total were installed to populate Variable-Message Signs (VMS) along the affected roadways in Minneapolis. Using the sensors, Salander established 22 links and 7 routes in the zone to monitor. The travel time data extracted from the iNode™ API was utilized to populate the 10 VMS within the north metro work zone. The VMS displayed comparative alternative-route travel time to affected motorists. As seen in the link analysis, travel time fluctuates between different lengths of the roadway throughout the day. By broadcasting the live travel times of the different routes, Salander is able to optimize traffic flow by empowering travelers with accurate, up-to-date information. The signs are successfully helping travelers navigate through the work zone and make informed travel decisions with ease.