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Traffic Management Relies on Lidar

image of Traffic Management Using Lidar

Lidar is commonly applied to in-car tech, but in the city of Chattanooga, it could be on its way to becoming critical infrastructure for traffic management at the street level.

From an article in Emerging Tech Brew by Jordan McDonald.

The southeastern Tennessee city of nearly 200,000 is in the midst of deploying lidar sensors at intersections around town. Seoul Robotics have said that its planned deployment to 86 intersections in Chattanooga is the largest-scale project of its kind in the US, and that it will help better manage traffic flow and improve pedestrian and vehicle safety.

“What Chattanooga is doing is unlocking a technology that hasn’t been used at a wide scale in the United States,” Dan Work, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University, told Tech Brew. “If it works well, it can showcase a different way to enhance measurement at intersections, that’s deployable not just in other communities in Tennessee, but around the country and potentially around the world.”

Chattanooga’s Department of Innovation Delivery and Performance, with South Korea-based Seoul Robotics and the Center of Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will build out the network supported by a $4.5+ million grant from the Department of Transportation.

Over the last decade cities have done limited pilots to test traffic safety tech, but federal agencies like the DOT, which is in partnership with the city of Chattanooga, are now looking to see how projects and pilots can be done at scale beyond the single road corridor pilots that some cities have adopted, Austin Harris, testbed manager at the CUIP, told Tech Brew.

In fact, the new lidar project is an expansion on an idea Chattanooga explored back in 2019. The city developed a 1.2 mile stretch of its downtown with cameras, lidar, radar, and audio devices to experiment with and test new technologies as part of their push to reach zero traffic fatalities as part of the city’s commitment to “Vision Zero.”

Now, the city is hoping that by scaling the smart intersections project up to such a large deployment, it can pave the way for electric vehicles, while drawing out lessons and data that might be useful to other cities around the country on infrastructure and traffic safety, Harris told us.

For the complete article on Traffic Management CLICK HERE.

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