Austin Partners With NTT To Carry Out Smart City Project


By Juan Pedro Tomás

The city of Austin and NTT have announced their intention to partner to carry out a smart project that will use new technologies to analyze traffic patterns, ease congestion and support community planning in Austin.

Under the smart city Project, NTT’s Accelerate Smart data platform, as well as modular data center infrastructure for edge deployments, will monitor traffic-related issues downtown using Internet of Things (IoT) devices deployed at the intersections of Cesar Chavez Street and Trinity Street and Guadalupe Street and 5th Street.

NTT said that the smart city project will collect traffic-related and mobility data through vehicle counting and classification, as well as wrong-way vehicle occurrences, with the aim of providing real-time notifications and better inform how to implement appropriate solutions to fit traffic patterns.

“We are piloting NTT because these solutions have the potential to help Austin digitally transform how people move safely through the city. By better understanding the data and causal effects of problems we see in challenging areas, we can develop effective solutions that meet the community’s needs,” said assistant director of smart mobility with Austin Transportation, Jason JonMichael. “Evaluating data is key to reaching our Vision Zero goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on Austin roadways. Smart technologies like this one will help us prioritize improvements to make our streets safer.”

The pilot programmme is designed to provide automated deployment and operation of necessary information and communications technology (ICT) resources from devices and networks to the cloud. This will allow the city to focus on improving traffic conditions through analysis and process data more efficiently without worrying about deployment and optimization issues.

“For the city of Austin, traffic management is a critical component to minimize the challenges of rapid, significant growth,” said senior executive vice President, NTT, Akira Shimada “Our Accelerate Smart solution will help the city of Austin in their pursuit of pedestrian safety goals and position them for continued innovation to improve the lives of residents and visitors.”

Following the initial pilot, the city of Austin and NTT plan to evaluate the viability of extending the pilot and potentially adding locations.

Earlier this month, the city of Las Vegas announced it has extended its smart-city rollout with NTT to cover high-definition optical and audio sensors at 14 locations across the city.

The extension follows an initial trial, which provided information to city personnel to increase situational awareness and provide some minor traffic management data. The pilot has improved traffic congestion and wrong way driving, said Las Vegas.

With the expansion, the city will leverage a dashboard to access and view sensors, data streams, and analytics, and set in motion an automated system to notify law enforcement and maintenance personnel about safety hazards, such as large crowds, gunshots, breaking glass and vandalism.

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