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Detroit's Intersections, Reimagined

miovision node on a Detroit traffic cabinet

The Detroit story

Most of us think we know the story of Detroit. But, behind the headlines lies a city in complete transition. A city that honors the ones who stayed behind and those who work to rebuild what was lost. The traffic operations team in Detroit is made up of these people and their story is one of resilience, innovation, and dedication to their city.

Inefficiency was effectively crippling their ability to innovate.

Faced with aging infrastructure, failing systems, and a lack of resources, the traffic operations team was struggling to maintain their traffic network. Rolling brownouts were plaguing the city, and staff were left to rely on citizen complaints just to be aware of issues. Outdated and unconnected infrastructure was a huge problem. The team lacked data and the applicable tools they needed to make accurate decisions.

Much of the city’s traffic budget was going towards signal maintenance, but because staff was unequipped to know when signals were in flash, or traffic lights were completely off, their solution was largely ineffective. The situation was also producing safety risks on roadways. Without a modern backbone to their signal infrastructure that took care of the basics, the city was unable to solve the bigger mobility problems, like emergency response times or transit reliability.

Sunny Jacob, Head of Traffic Operations in Detroit was ready to explore new technologies in order to solve a simple, yet crucial problem: how do we know if our traffic lights are on, off, or in flash?

The city had very little in-ground connectivity, leaving them unable to connect to or communicate with 80% of their signals. They needed the ability to communicate with their intersections remotely.

So they partnered with us.

Miovision solutions gave the traffic operations team in Detroit a live view of their connected intersections, and allowed them to prioritize their most critical problems by turning raw data into traffic signal performance measures. And, while Miovision was helping solve Detroit’s immediate traffic issues, we began to realize that far more could be done with the same technology. In fact, other city departments were already benefiting from the initial hardware investment. The police department is now able to use the technology to provide patrol cars with Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP).

Detroit now has a way to identify and manage all the operational and mobility issues in their city, regardless of department. Miovision TrafficLink, the platform that now connects Detroit’s streets, has the potential to help Detroit achieve their smart city vision.

Their forward-thinking approach to traffic solutions made Detroit the perfect city for us to build the World’s Smartest Intersection. Detroit now finds itself with the capability to leapfrog other cities in North America in ITS technology, making it so they can solve more traffic problems and truly make the city safer and more efficient for citizens.

miovision node on a Detroit traffic cabinet

“We started with the goal of improving how we monitor our traffic signals, and now we’re working with Miovision to explore how to improve safety for pedestrians and help first responders get to emergencies more quickly.”

Mark de la Vergne,
Chief of Mobility Innovation, Detroit

What is the World's Smartest Intersection?

The World’s Smartest Intersection is a groundbreaking technology showcase in Detroit, Michigan. Powered by TrafficLink, it features both the existing functionality and future capabilities of the Miovision platform.

In partnership with Sunny Jacob, Head of Traffic Operations with the City of Detroit, the World’s Smartest Intersection started as a transportation department initiative to help the city solve ongoing traffic issues, and has since evolved into a cross-city platform for open innovation.

Detroit believed in our vision of open architecture and the possibilities that came along with it, which made it the perfect location for the World’s Smartest Intersection to showcase both existing and upcoming capabilities in a real-world setting.

The World’s Smartest Intersection is a collection of our latest thinking and engineering, including: freight priority that creates new economic opportunities for the city, cyclist dilemma zone extensions, pedestrian safety analytics that make streets safer for citizens, automated responses to traffic issues that save time, and more. All in one place.

The World’s Smartest Intersection puts the safety of citizens first, communicates with the world around it, and completely transforms the way traffic engineering teams operate. With all of this technology available in one intersection, we can begin to explore the potential of how one smart intersection can lead to many, and ultimately end with the creation of a fully interconnected, smart city.

This groundbreaking technology shows us how an investment originally made to solve traffic problems has the potential to become the foundation for smart city solutions. We want to help your city do the same.

Larned St. moving from south-west to north-east: 1. Griswold & Larned St.; 2. Rivard St. & Larned St.; 3. St. Aubin & Larned St.; 4: St. Chene & Larned St.; 5. Larned St. & McDougall St.Larned St. moving from south-west to north-east: 1. Griswold & Larned St.; 2. Rivard St. & Larned St.; 3. St. Aubin & Larned St.; 4: St. Chene & Larned St.; 5. Larned St. & McDougall St.

How The World's Smartest
Intersection Transforms
Traffic Operations

Just a few years ago, the traffic operations team in the City of Detroit, like many other cities, was relying on phone calls from concerned citizens and reports from other departments to know when something was wrong with their traffic infrastructure. Miovision has helped Detroit completely transform the way they identify and solve these day-to-day issues. Join our webinar on Wednesday July 18, at 1pm EST to learn how Detroit transformed their Traffic Operations using the World’s Smartest Intersection, and how your city can do the same.

Watch the Webinar