City of Valdosta streets upgrade to smart technology for road safety

Video from WALB
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The streets in Valdosta are getting “smart.”

The Glance Travel Safely app was launched this week. It aims to improve traffic, road safety and response times for first responders.

One hundred and twenty-eight traffic signals throughout the city now have smart technology.

Valdosta launches new app for traffic control.
Valdosta launches new app for traffic control.(WALB)

“For example, if you’re approaching a red light, it will tell you you’re approaching a red light so you know to stop. It’ll tell you the light is about to turn green so you know to get ready to go. The goal is to really improve traffic, make it a little bit smarter, and help your drive as a driver, pedestrian, motorist on the road,” said Ashlyn Johnson, the city spokesperson.

It’s been in the works since August 2020, said Johnson.

Valdosta was one of four cities in the state to get it. It’s called Georgia Tech’s Georgia Smart Communities Challenge Grant. It covers putting the smart technology in 128 major traffic signals.

Valdosta launches new app for traffic control.
Valdosta launches new app for traffic control.(WALB)

It also includes the Travel Safely app and technology used on fire trucks during an emergency.

“So what that does, when a fire truck pulls out of the station and they’re going to the scene of a fire or call, it’ll automatically turn that light green on the way to the call. So ultimately, it’ll reduce the response times that citizens may see and keep communities safer,” explained Johnson.

Johnson said that right now they’re testing the preemption system with the city’s fire department. She said the city of Marietta, near Atlanta, has been using the app and their data has shown good results in improving traffic safety.

The project was also possible with the help of Valdosta State University and Georgia Tech.

The Travel Safely app connects your phone to a network of traffic intersections, school beacons, cyclists and pedestrians and uses audible warnings to alert you.

“The new Ford vehicles in 2022 will automatically have the technology to connect to this app, for the rest of the community, we really would love to see them download the Travel Safely app. The more usage we have, the better data we’ll be able to use and we’ll be able to improve our intersections each day and make it a little smarter, make your drive a little bit better,” said Johnson.

Click here for information on the Travel Safely app.

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