Next Chapter for Smart Cities Is Practical, Equitable

Like so many American cities these days, Pittsburgh finds itself suffering from significant growth in traffic and road congestion. By 2017, drivers were spending an extra 81 hours commuting to work each year. To ease the problem, the city worked with Carnegie Mellon University to build a traffic signal system that ran on artificial intelligence instead of relying on pre-programmed signal cycles…

The project in Pittsburgh is more than just a smart city initiative. It’s an example of how the movement has evolved. It tackles an ordinary problem using the latest technology in an innovative way. There are multiple players involved, including a startup — Rapid Flow Technologies, which was spun out of Carnegie Mellon — and it was built to scale up. Eventually, more than 600 intersections throughout Pittsburgh could be using the technology. Finally, the solution aims to be equitable, affecting the entire community, including those who don’t have cars but use the streets anyway.