On Oct. 11, the city of Marietta marked 18 months of connected transportation and life-saving technology within the city by being awarded the Technology Innovation Showcase award from the State of Georgia’s Chief Information Officer Calvin Rhodes.
This award is given annually to innovative projects in the State of Georgia which address a specific business problem, improve business processes and operating efficiency, have financial savings or cost avoidance or enhance service delivery to customers, according to Marietta Communications & Governmental Relations Manager Lindsey Wiles.
Marietta is the only city to win the award this year.
As the first fully connected city in the U.S., Marietta has made the roads safer not only for first responders but also for residents and visitors in the 23-square-mile city.
It has been 18 months and 20,000 emergency calls since city officials installed preemption software on Marietta Fire vehicles to give first responders in Marietta green lights at pre-cleared intersections.
This technology provides a safer route and shortens response time, resulting in a 10-second reduction in travel time per intersection within the city limits.
“Eighteen months ago, the city of Marietta went live with the first totally connected, smart traffic network in the United States,” said City Manager Bill Bruton. “A 2009 (Columbia University) study determined that a one-minute reduction in response times across the U.S. would save more than 300,000 lives every year. Think about that impact in our community. How many additional lives will our first responders now save each year? This is truly a life-saving advancement for Marietta.”
Another benefit of the city’s technology is the potential of significant financial savings to Marietta taxpayers, Wiles said, by not building more fire stations.
If a new fire station were to be built today, it would cost $4 million to build the new station, $1.5 million to staff and $1 million to purchase its fire apparatus.
Instead the city is using this preemption technology to clear out the intersections in the route of the responding emergency vehicle and decrease response time without building a new station.
There is also a hands-free app available for citizens to download which connects them to first responders, school beacons, traffic signals and driver feedback signs.
Using the app, citizens will be notified that they are in a school zone, when the beacons are active, and be given a warning if they exceed the school zone speed limit by 10 MPH.
Vehicles approaching intersections will communicate with traffic signals, so drivers can adapt to the traffic flow.
Another feature of the app notifies drivers of cyclists and pedestrians ahead who, in turn, will be warned if a vehicle is approaching at an unsafe speed.
Anyone driving, cycling or walking in the city can use the app which will automatically work in the city’s 23-square-mile area.
Marietta is the only city in the U.S. to have this type of a system operational in every part of the community.
To download the app, visit either the Google Play or iTunes Store and search for “Glance TravelSafely.”