Innovation That Matters

Montreal monitoring city traffic via drivers’ Bluetooth


Traffic management company Orange Traffic provided more than 100 sensors used near major thoroughfares to gather data on volume and speed of vehicles.

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Rather than rely on once-yearly spot checks of traffic throughout the city, Montreal, Canada, decided to build a more comprehensive picture of what was working well, and what wasn’t working very well, around the city. Working with traffic management company Orange Traffic, the city installed more than 100 sensors along the busiest vehicular routes. The sensors pick up mobile phone Bluetooth signals, making the system inexpensive to use and install as no additional hardware or devices are needed.

Once the sensors pick up a Bluetooth signal, they track it through several measurement points to get an idea of how fast or slow traffic is moving. The data is sent to the city’s Urban Mobility Management Center. City officials are keen to emphasize that no personal data is recorded as Bluetooth signals cannot be linked to individuals. Traffic management and urban planning teams will be able to use the data to redesign problematic intersections and improve the overall mobility of the city’s streets and transport facilities.

Smart cities are those making safety and efficiency a priority, from providing digital driver licenses in India to crowdsourcing a map of cars in bike lanes in New York City. How could driverless vehicles contribute to improved pedestrian safety?



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