ITS and environmental measurement

The inter-relation between mobility and sustainability is particularly evident in urban contexts, where transit of vehicles is responsible for the highest proportion of CO2 and NOx gas emissions. As urban populations keep rising, greenhouse emissions problems are increasing in scope and are directly affecting cities’ economic development.

Therefore it is key to move towards environmentally-friendly traffic management solutions.

A recent initiative, carried out by Pinellas County and Schneider Electric along US-19 corridor within the City of Clearwater, compared vehicle emissions from traffic controlled by an adaptive traffic signal management system with the emissions created by a traditional time-of-day traffic signal plan.

The test was conducted during two weeks at a time when weather was consistent at the test area. Results validated the emission reductions forecasted by models: there was a 17 percent reduction in carbon monoxide (CO) levels and 17 percent reduction in Particulate Matter (PM2.5) when the Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS) enabled better coordination and synchronization of traffic signals — and reduced traffic congestion — in the test corridor.

This experience highlights that the relationship between real time environmental measurement and mobility management models is mutually beneficial, leading to lower levels of gas emissions through the development and application of coordinated and sustainability strategies permitting appropriate management of traffic distribution.

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