Carnegie Mellon University

Metro21 Project Featured in Wall Street Journal: Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past

Metro21's Project, Surtrac 2.0, Featured in The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal featured a Metro21 project, Surtrac 2.0, in an article discussing car companies and startups using artificial intelligence to answer traffic inefficiencies in cities.

The progress in Pittsburgh is largely due to the Surtrac traffic-management system that began as a CMU research project. Surtrac has spun-off into a start-up company, Rapid Flow Technologies, and the technology is now used in 47 intersections in Pittsburgh in addition to intersections in Atlanta, Georgia, Portland, Maine and Needham, Mass.  

The Metro21 project was supported by the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. The request from the City included expanding the adaptive signal network and enhanced predictive modeling of traffic flows from detector information, which improves overall traffic flow optimization. The Wall Street Journal article cited the Director of Mobility and Infrastructure, Karina Ricks, encouraging the potential for Rapid Flow’s Surtrac system to optimize not just vehicle traffic but the movement of people around the city via public transportation. 

The Surtrac system has already reduced traffic light wait-times by as much 42%, which helps reduce auto emissions and move people more efficiently. The City of Pittsburgh is eager to work on developing and implementing the technology to continue progressing Pittsburgh as a Smart City. Read the full Wall Street Journal article.