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Center for Transportation Studies

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SMART Signal

The SMART Signal system was developed by associate professor Henry Liu of the University of Minnesota's Department of Civil Engineering to improve traffic management on urban arterial corridors.

SMART Signal (Systematic Monitoring of Arterial Road Traffic Signals) simultaneously collects event-based high-resolution traffic data from multiple intersections and generates real-time signal performance measures, including arterial travel time, number of stops, queue length, intersection delay, and level of service.

Traffic engineers can use this information to improve traffic flow on roads controlled by traffic lights—reducing congestion and saving drivers both time and fuel. SMART Signal could also give drivers a more accurate prediction of travel times by accounting for time spent waiting at traffic lights.

The system is now deployed at more than 100 intersections on major arterial corridors in Minnesota and Pasadena, California. 

In 2011, the University of Minnesota’s Office of Technology Commercialization signed a licensing agreement with startup company SMART Signal Technologies Inc. to commercialize the system.

Funding and in-kind support for the SMART Signal system have been provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the ITS Institute, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, Hennepin County, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

SMART Signal Video

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