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RTC using technology to navigate Las Vegas construction zones

Transportation officials are turning to technology to reduce traffic issues commonly seen in roadway constructions zones.

Temporary roadwork zones, a result of regional growth, are managed by myriad contractors across multiple jurisdictions, government agencies, utility companies and private developers.

With the work shifting on a daily basis, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is challenged to obtain timely, accurate information about construction zones and their effects on traffic.

The RTC has been testing technologies to deal with construction-related traffic congestion, looking to deal with the issue in real time.

The RTC has been using Israeli startup Nexar’s City Stream platform for a pilot program in a 3-square-mile area of downtown Las Vegas, and plans to expand the scope to other sections of the city.

Through the pilot program, Nexar has logged thousands of daily updates on the movements of hundreds of traffic cones, receiving important insight on their effect on traffic.

“While they represent economic development, orange cones can be a big nuisance to drivers, so we are trying to minimize their effect on traffic,” Tina Quigley, RTC general manager, said in a statement.

The RTC will display the technology next week at a “Work Zone of the Future” event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 10 at the RTC Traffic Management Center.

Nexar uses artificial intelligence and delivers anonymous, aggregated network data from tens of thousands of connected vehicles to cities, transit authorities, and mobility and mapping companies to make roads safer and more efficient for drivers, the company said.

The information is derived from Nexar’s open vehicle network of connected cars on the road, who use the company’s dashcam and smartphone app. That information is streamed and processed by computer-vision algorithms, which identify and extract real-time insights on road conditions, traffic patterns, obstacles and infrastructure, according to Nexar’s website.

City Stream can address targeted needs including evaluating how construction zones impact traffic patterns, monitoring signage and infrastructure, and identifying causes of congestion and other dangerous road conditions.

“I’m thrilled that Nevada RTC is recognizing the power of the Nexar network to deliver the kind of intelligence that will make our roads better for everyone,” said Eran Shir, Nexar CEO in a statement. “We hope that cities around the country will take note.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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