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Roads and Transportation

New Smart Technology Connects Vehicles To Traffic Signals



Peachtree Corners is among the first communities to use cutting-edge systems to alert distracted drivers to traffic lights turning red and increase traffic flow efficiency by letting motorists know it’s time to go when signals are about to turn green.

The city of Peachtree Corners continues its development as a city of the future with the introduction of one of the nation’s first smart city environments powered by real-world connected infrastructure and 5G technology. The cutting-edge technology helps combat the rise of distracted driver accidents and decreased traffic flow by alerting motorists of pending red lights and impending green light changes.

City officials in early March announced that telecommunication company T-Mobile, Applied Information, a Gwinnett County-based engineering consultant and Temple Inc., a leader in the intelligent transportation systems industry, are introducing 5G-connected vehicle technology that enables traffic signals to communicate with any vehicle on the road by way of a mobile app.

This technology enables two-way communication on T-Mobile’s 5G network between the traffic signal and devices such as smartphones, tablets and vehicles equipped with on-board-units. Anyone can download the app on iPhone or Android platforms and utilize this aid in the designated Peachtree Corners area, according to city officials.

The TravelSafely smartphone app provides audible warnings about potential red light running and alerts drivers to get ready for green. Communications from the vehicle to the traffic signal can enable normal calls for a green light or green light preemption – or even priority in special cases, such as public safety.

With the area being one of the most diverse in the country, the app provides warnings in several languages along with English. Korean, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, French and German are available depending on the phone settings of the user.

“The evolution from 4G to 5G brings revolutionary advances in the performance of connected vehicle applications. This powerful collaboration enables the industry to accelerate the pace of change for the better and make for safer travel for all,” said Bryan Mulligan, president of Applied Information in a statement.

Taking the technology a step further in community safety, emergency vehicles will have the ability to pre-empt traffic signals allowing them to avoid red lights and respond quicker in potential life-threatening situations.

“First responders used to have to push a button to change traffic lights,” said Brandon Branham, Peachtree Corners’ Chief Technology Officer. “This is one way to make that action more efficient.”

Mulligan is also executive director of the Infrastructure Automotive Technology Laboratory (iATL), the world’s first facility for developing connected vehicle applications for both vehicles and traffic control devices such as traffic signals. The primary function of the iATL is to serve as an engineering technical facility for testing connected vehicle application functionality and performance between the transportation infrastructure and motor vehicles, the infrastructure and vulnerable road users, motor vehicles and vulnerable road users and other configurations.

Located in Alpharetta, the IATL is sponsored by Applied Information Inc.

This new endeavor lines up perfectly with Peachtree Corners’ vision as a destination for technology.  

“As another strong reflection of Peachtree Corners’ leadership as an innovative smart city in the United States, we’re excited to offer smart connected infrastructure relevant to our citizens, city employees and visitors by enabling any vehicle to receive communications from 5G-connected traffic signals,” said City Manager Brian Johnson in a news release.

Driverless Shuttles Coming

As further reflection of the city street of the future coming to life, four autonomous shuttles operated by mobility-as-a-service leader, Beep Inc., integrate Applied Information’s C-V2X technology into their fleet for safe and precise navigation, as well as real-world data collection, according to a press release. Multi-modal interoperability at intersections, as well as testing signal prioritization for the autonomous shuttle fleet, are just a few examples of critical situations. As transit operations and the need to safely test autonomous platforms while efficiently moving people around cities continues to grow, these real-world applications and tests help drive society forward. 

Using the current county bus route through Technology Park, a new driverless shuttle will loop through six stops, said Branham.

He added that eventually, the route will extend onto Highway 141 and into the Town Center.

“We have the experience of safely testing autonomous platforms in real-world use cases within the first smart city environment in the United States. Completing the vehicle-to-infrastructure equation with communication between drivers, pedestrians, roadside units, traffic signals, buildings and other city-owned infrastructure is critical for both driven and driverless vehicles. Advanced C-V2X technology on our platforms elevates each vehicle’s awareness of its surroundings and is invaluable as we develop more unique technologies to further elevate safety and advance the AV industry,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep in a written statement.  

Data collected from this deployment will help roadway operators and traffic technology developers better understand the performance of the 5G network to deliver safety messages to drivers and directly to equipped vehicles, the news release pointed out.

“The future of 5G technology is being realized with each innovation, in large part due to strong partnerships such as ours with Peachtree Corners at the Curiosity Lab. This step forward in safety technology is an integral moment in our pursuit of more connected and more autonomous vehicles, said     Dave Bezzant, vice president of T-Mobile for Government.

City Manager Johnson agreed.

“Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology isn’t just a concept here, it’s a reality that all people can experience just by downloading an app on their smartphones. This is truly the city street of the future, reminding us again of how important it will be for key elements of a city to communicate with each other to elevate safety and improve the daily lives of residents,” he said in a statement. 

The collaboration is part of a partnership between the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners and the Infrastructure Automotive Technology Laboratory to accelerate the development and deployment of connected vehicle safety applications and transportation infrastructure technologies. 

The two organizations, along with development partners such as T-Mobile, will share assets and facilities on projects involving automakers and technology innovators to develop and rapidly mainstream new safety systems for mobility. The partners will also promote the region as a hub for connected vehicle innovation and work to attract future development and early deployment to the area.

Arlinda Smith Broady is part of the Boomerang Generation of Blacks that moved back to the South after their ancestors moved North. With approximately three decades of journalism experience (she doesn't look it), she's worked in tiny, minority-based newsrooms to major metropolitans. At every endeavor she brings professionalism, passion, pluck, and the desire to spread the news to the people.

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Roads and Transportation

Corley Road In Peachtree Corners to Be Temporarily Closed for Emergency Drainage Work



Corley Road

The City of Peachtree Corners Department of Public Works will be instituting a temporary emergency closure of Corley Road.

This closure is necessary to allow crews to repair underground stormwater infrastructure near 6458 Corley Road. 

The work will require Corley Road to be closed at this location beginning September 7 and lasting for an estimated 12-14 days.  Access to the area businesses will be limited but not restricted, and detours will be required. 

There is an abandoned railroad crossing located at this address.  For locations to the east, access can be made from Jimmy Carter Boulevard, State Route 140.  For all properties west of this address, and at the rail crossing, access can be made from Jones Mill Road to Mechanicsville Road to Corley Road. 

Source: The City of Peachtree Corners

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City Government

Peachtree Corners Enlists IMS to Conduct Pavement Survey



Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS-2)

Residents of Peachtree Corners will soon have an objective assessment of the town’s pavement. Using funds dedicated to infrastructure management, the City has contracted with Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) to conduct the pavement survey.

The company has over 30 years of experience in the field of pavement management and has helped municipalities throughout the United States and Canada. IMS will be responsible for completing an objective pavement condition survey as well as a budget and rehabilitation analysis.

IMS survey vehicles hit the streets in early October using their Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS-2). The LCMS-2 is a 3D imaging sensor that collects continuous 3D pavement imagery along with rutting and roughness measurements.

How it works

The LCMS-2 will determine surface distresses including load cracking, block cracking, rutting, raveling, reflective cracking, loss of section, bleeding, edge distress and patched areas. Information will be collected on a segment-by-segment basis. The collected data and imagery will be linked to the City’s existing GIS data system.

Once the data has been collected, the City will create a work program using a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) that will rate road segments between poor and excellent. The City will then use the PCI rankings to create an infrastructure work plan based on actual road conditions.

This data-based planning will allow Peachtree Corners to provide more efficient and equitable repairs and maximize the City’s repair budget.

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Roads and Transportation

Peachtree Corners Median Landscaping Project to begin in September



Peachtree Corners Circle

Getting underway in September, the City of Peachtree Corners will begin a median landscaping project on Peachtree Corners Circle between Springs Lane and Westchase Village Lane.

The project will consist of providing center median plantings for three existing roadway medians located in the roadway.  

During the construction of the project, partial closures are expected, and traffic flaggers will be placed to assist motorists traveling through the area.

While the final construction plan has not yet been completed, we are providing the estimate below.

  • September 9 – preconstruction meeting
  • September 19 – Notice to Proceed
  • 60-day to Substantial Completion
  • 90-day Contract

Project to be scheduled to be completed before the end of the year.

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