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Monday, June 1, 2020

City named a winner of Parsons’ Smart Cities Challenge, to pilot traffic congestion technology

Parsons Corporation, a technology company, announced Westminster as one of three government entity winners of the company’s Smart Cities Challenge. The city will be among the first-ever cities to implement Parsons’ new Intelligent Intersections solution, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve traffic signal operations and the mobility of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. 

By unlocking insights from the data being generated at intersections, the solution creates a custom dashboard, giving transportation engineers and traffic signal technicians the information they need to make more informed decisions to reduce congestion.

“As our region continues to grow, we are taking a proactive approach to emerging transportation technologies to help manage mobility and move people more efficiently in the city,” said Transportation Engineer Heath Klein. “Improving our intersections will help advance Westminster as a regional destination and make it easier for the 100,000-plus people who commute to, from or through our city every day.” 

Across the United States, congestion wastes 6.3 billion hours and $88 billion dollars of productivity annually, while producing 30 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Retiming signals – typically an expensive, time consuming, manual process – can reduce congestion at intersections by 30%, reduce GHG emissions by 4.9 million tons per year and lower productivity losses by $27 billion annually. Parsons’ Intelligent Intersections solution takes data from the signal controller unit and from local sensors to provide a dashboard that allows traffic engineers to visualize the information. With this data, transportation engineers and traffic signal technicians can better monitor intersections, and retime the signals up to 20 times more frequently.

“The City of Westminster – a key regional hub along the US 36 Tech Corridor between the cities of Denver and Boulder, Colorado – is continuing to grow into a civic, cultural and economic hub in the area,” said Parsons Senior Vice President, Smart Cities Andrew Liufor. “We look forward to working with the city and its partners in the region to help realize their mobility vision for the citizens and communities they serve.”
As a winner of the challenge, the city will receive a free, six-month trial of Parsons’ Intelligent Intersection solution, which will be used to monitor Sheridan Boulevard, a major regional north-south corridor. The solution will use existing city sensors to analyze traffic data and provide signal timing recommendations. Expected outcomes include more data and information to contribute to improved retiming efforts that will move people more efficiently, improved multimodal safety and lower emissions from idling vehicles.  

Parsons’ Smart Cities Challenge was launched in 2019 in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to change the way cities move through technology and innovation. More than 60 city governments worldwide entered the challenge by outlining the mobility challenges they face, along with their goals for utilizing the Intelligent Intersections solution.

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