Proxim Unwires Indiana’s Statewide ITS Network

Building new roads to meet transportation demand can be prohibitively expensive, and adding new lanes in highly congested urban areas is often impossible. Intelligent Transportation Systems, with advanced traffic signal control, speed meters and video surveillance can keep traffic moving.

The Indiana Dept. of Transportation has deployed a statewide wireless Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) incorporating many different components – from speed and weather sensors, to dynamic messaging signs, to video surveillance cameras.

Proxim Wireless ties it all together with an end-to-end wireless network.

Legacy traffic surveillance systems relied on wire line networks to transport the video. But as networks expanded, more cameras meant more wires. It became cost prohibitive – and often impossible.

“When we began rolling out this statewide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), we knew that the cost to connect the hundreds of components via fiber would be completely cost-prohibitive,” said Troy Boyd, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) ITS Technology Deployment Division Director.

Their new wireless network connects traffic and video components over hundreds of square miles, enabling the following traffic-related applications:

  • Traffic Management – Residents of Indiana and Illinois can visit INDOT’s TrafficWise Web site to get real-time traffic updates as well as visual images of the roads they are traveling. The images are provided by video cameras connected wirelessly via Proxim’s unlicensed WiMAX radios, the Tsunami MP.11 5054.
  • Dynamic Messaging Signs – Many of the digital messaging signs along Indiana’s highways are wirelessly connected to Proxim’s wireless network via Proxim Tsunami MP.11 5012 subscriber units. This enables the immediate updating of the dynamic messaging signs to warn drivers of road conditions, accidents, detours and Amber Alerts.
  • Solar-Powered Traffic Detection Radar Sites – INDOT utilises many radar sites to detect the flow of traffic and warn drivers of slow traffic conditions ahead. These radar detection sites are all connected via Proxim’s Tsunami MP.11 5012 subscriber units, which – due to the low power consumption of the radios – enables each of these sites to be powered via solar.
  • Seamless Connectivity to Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) – All of these components are seamlessly connected back to INDOT’s two TMCs via Proxim’s high-performance wireless backhaul links, saving INDOT millions of dollars in up front deployment costs by not requiring the use of fibre to connect all components. INDOT uses a leased line to tie the two TMC sites together.
  • Wireless Remote Management – INDOT engineers can access the network remotely via Wi-Fi thanks to Proxim’s ORiNOCO AP-4000.

“With Proxim’s end-to-end wireless solutions, we were able to deploy a single network consisting of wireless backhaul, unlicensed WiMAX and Wi-Fi that enabled us to connect and manage the entire ITS. As a result, we are able to deliver mission-critical traffic services to the citizens of Indiana in a fiscally responsible manner,” explained Boyd.

Initially, INDOT had evaluated several competing wireless technologies, including products from Alvarion and Firetide. At the end of the day, the autonomous operation of Proxim’s MP.11 5054 and 5012 series radios performed better and offered greater value than the other offerings, INDOT reported in Proxim’s white paper.

The Total Cost of Ownership of laying cables, as analyzed in the Farpoint Group’s Wireline vs. Wireless white paper (above), shows prohibitive cost of deployment and operation with a wired network. Proxim has a free white paper on the benefits of wireless for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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