With its population rapidly expanding and its traffic management system needing much better reliability and flexibility, the City of San Antonio, Texas, turned to 4G LTE connectivity through Cradlepoint’s primary Edge routing platforms with NetCloud Manager, the network management service available in the Cradlepoint NetCloud platform. Now San Antonio’s traffic network has reliable connectivity with the ability to expand and begin using untapped technology and applications to improve traffic flow and maximize civic resources.
The City of San Antonio, Texas, has a population of more than 1.4 million people—and is expected to grow by at least a million individuals within the next 20 years. Rapid growth required the city to seek smart, efficient expansion of its infrastructure and services. For instance, the city’s Traffic Management Center must be prepared to handle greatly heightened roadway usage.
The Traffic Management Center, with a staff of 16 people overseeing nearly 1,400 intersections, is responsible for traffic signal operations, lane control, the school flasher system, sensor-based detection devices, and nearly 60 video cameras that facilitate real-time monitoring.
The city’s traffic system is finely tuned. Even minor disruptions and technical issues can drastically hinder motorists’ ability to proceed through several green lights in succession during normal traffic flow.
In 2015, the City of San Antonio recognized the need to upgrade its complex traffic management system, which included a dozen radio towers throughout the city. About 300 intersections, featuring access points connected to wired lines, were serving as reference nodes for the remainder of the intersections, each of which featured a wireless access point.
The resultant radio-based wireless mesh network allowed traffic managers to remotely communicate with devices in the field, but not consistently. The staff could only engage with about 60 percent of the city’s intersections.
This proved problematic because remote access is what allows staff at headquarters to centrally monitor key applications, troubleshoot problems, and adjust the clocks that synchronize traffic lights and flow.