The daily commute is a b*tch, there’s no way around it. Whether you’re headed to work by car, bus, train or subway each day, weather, accidents, signal problems and other unforeseen issues can result in everything from road rage to major time-related inconveniences. But the city of Winnipeg has come up with a revolutionary way to make the commute a little less stressful.
The city installed seventy modem-equipped cameras, monitoring 650 intersections around the city, which provide alerts on everything from malfunctioning traffic lights, accidents and sudden slowdowns in real time. As a result, engineers and operators can instantly change the streetlight patterns remotely. The technology was unveiled in the new Transportation Management Centre (TMC) on Tuesday.
“In the past, it took us days to do that,” said Michael Cantor, a traffic signal engineer. “Now we can do that within minutes and hours.”
The TMC is also counting on Winnipeg drivers to help out. Any traffic information shared over the navigation app Waze will be received by the centre. If slow traffic is reported, staffers can use the cameras to check to see what’s going on in a timely manner.
The city spent $3.6 million to build the new system, and it’ll cost $500,000 annually to operate, so it didn’t come cheap. And while the city doesn’t know how much time the new tech will save commuters, they’ll begin reporting on the results soon, hopefully with a positive outcome.
“We want to ensure that, of course, our citizens are able to get to work or school in and efficient manner in the morning and then get home safely to their families in the evening,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.
A small price to pay for a much smoother drive, wouldn’t you say?
Check out the video above to learn more on the new traffic system.