Santa Clara County, California is using real-time traffic data from cameras and other sensors on its streets to optimize traffic signal timings. The data is sent to the Traffic Management Center (TMC) which uses cloud computing analysis to tweak the timing of 130 signals in the county. The signal coordination plans vary depending on the level of traffic that is on the expressways and accounts for pedestrians and bicycles in addition to vehicles. The county originally had one signal timing plan in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening, but now the signal coordination plan is traffic-based.
- Use real-time data sent to TMCs to adjust traffic-based signal timing. Minor changes to signal timing based on real-time traffic volume data can improve throughput.
- Install special sensors to detect the presence of bicycles and pedestrians. Sensors can trigger changes to signal timing to increase crossing time only when needed.
- Use predictive traffic measures to reduce congestion. With predictive traffic measures, commuters can change travel plans as needed to reduce congestion during peak periods.