Atlanta creates Smart Corridor to improve traffic, prepare for driverless vehicles

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Updated Sep 21, 2017


Transdev autonomous vehicle. Photo by Transdev.Transdev autonomous vehicle. Photo by Transdev.

Atlanta has launched its new North Avenue Smart Corridor, equipping 18 intersections with advanced technology designed to improve vehicle, transit, bike and pedestrian flow and safety, and help pave the way for autonomous vehicles.

The technology includes adaptive signal systems using artificial intelligence to eliminate stops and reduce wait times by 25 percent without increasing travel speeds, according to Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.

The intersections are also equipped with a video surveillance and detection system to improve traffic safety, a connected vehicle system in which traffic signals could communicate with autonomous vehicles and driver’s smartphones and a Bluetooth travel time and origin destination system. The corridor was also updated with clear striping and signs to prepare for future driverless vehicles. A ribbon-cutting for the corridor on September 14 included autonomous-vehicle demonstrations by Tesla and Transdev.

The 2.3-mile corridor is a major artery in the city, providing a link to such institutions as Georgia Tech and The Coca-Cola Company.

Georgia Tech will partner with the city to collect and analyze data from the corridor to improve operations. The corridor is a demonstration project to make Atlanta “a national leader in the Smart Cities movement,” according to the mayor. The movement involves harnessing advanced technology to address traffic and other quality-of-life issues.

Funding for the $3 million project came from $150 million in bonds Atlanta voters approved in 2015 for road projects.