City using bluetooth to monitor highway congestion

Bluetooth is being used for more than blasting tunes or chatting hands-free.

City staff are working on a travel time project — set up along the Hwy. 417/174 corridor and Innes Rd./417 for east-end travel — gauging how long it takes drivers to reach one point to the next.

The goal is to “track real-time travel times along the corridor to identify congestion and report it back to the road users,” said the city’s manager of traffic safety and mobility Greg Kent.

The pilot project began in Sept. 2013 and is also monitoring existing volume, “and how we can communicate that information back to road users so they can make an educated decision on how they want to travel, whether it’s pre-planning, or real-time plannning,” Kent said.

Bluetooth is one of the new methods being used.

Devices, such as smartphones, push out information, and pinpoint individuals on a highway.

“We don’t identify the actual individual, person, or a vehicle, and we track the time from when they pass point A, point B, point C, point D, down the highway and then we can identify what the travel times on the highway are at that time,” said Kent.

Since the effort is in the trial stages “the information is only being reviewed and assessed by city staff at this time,” said Kent.

Sharing the information via the city’s website and navigation app, Twitter, and on LED variable message signs is likely to roll out next year.

Twitter: @kellyroche6

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