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Kimley-Horn Launches Advanced Traffic Signal Priority and Preemption Software

Downtown Intersection

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 23, 2023) – Transportation systems management and operations engineers can now deploy joint Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Traffic Signal Priority (TSP), Freight Signal Priority (FSP), and Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) applications in one software system.

Traction Priority™ from Kimley-Horn is a cloud-based traffic signal software that responds to real-time GPS feeds from existing equipment on buses, trucks, emergency vehicles, and more. Municipalities and transit authorities can prioritize any mode of transport, including:

  • Emergency vehicles, to improve response time and decrease crash risks.
  • Transit vehicles, to improve on-time performance and reduce intersection congestion.
  • School buses, to get children to school on time with lower fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Freight vehicles, to reduce emissions, travel time, and cost of operations. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) calculates that reducing 5,000 freight stops per day can save fleets more than 1,300 kilograms of emissions, 63 hours of travel time, and $4,500 in fuel and operational costs.
  • Snowplows, to clear roads faster and reduce intersection crashes.
  • Bicycles, including cargo and delivery, to increase cyclist safety through traffic signals.

Until now, TSP and EVP required specialized hardware that costs up to $10,000 per traffic signal, and proprietary equipment in vehicles that costs up to $5,000 each. Traction Priority eliminates those hardware expenses, bringing affordability and unlimited scalability to public agencies.

“The software revolution has finally come to traffic signal priority and preemption,” said Jason Castillo, traffic management software Practice Builder at Kimley-Horn. “Every city and transit agency desires faster emergency response, safer school transportation, lower emissions, and on-time public transit. Now they can have the traffic signal technology to get there.”

From Hardware to the Cloud

Traction Priority fine-tunes traffic signals in two ways. First, with virtual detection, vehicles enter geofenced zones and trigger a command to the traffic signal controller. When a vehicle exits the zone, the signal reverts to its prior operation.

Second, with advanced analytics, vehicle trip patterns on set routes determine commands. For example, Traction Priority estimates the duration that a public bus will wait at a stop located before a traffic signal. If rush hour has many riders and midday has few, Traction Priority adjusts commands based on the time of day.

The Traction Priority dashboard measures fuel, cost, and emissions savings in real time. This helps traffic engineers and transit operations planners validate the cost-benefit ratio and learn where to get more benefits with new traffic signal commands.

Traction Priority supports controllers compliant with the National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP), without any new cabinet equipment. Traction Priority can operate on its own with an agency’s existing Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) or integrated with Kimley-Horn’s traffic management software, including:

  • KITS™ ATMS for arterial and freeway ITS device management.
  • Kadence™ adaptive traffic control system.
  • Other Traction smart cities ecosystem solutions, including Traction Live and Traction Travel.

Kimley-Horn has provided traffic management software solutions to public agencies for more than 30 years. More than 100 public organizations across North America use Kimley-Horn’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) software solutions. Traction Priority is deployed in Texas and Ontario, Canada, with upcoming deployments in Arizona, California, and Indiana.

About Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn, one of the nation’s premier engineering, planning, and design consulting firms, serves a wide range of disciplines, including transportation, aviation, development services, energy, transit, urban design, landscape architecture, and water/wastewater. With more than 7,000 employees in more than 125 offices nationwide, Kimley-Horn is one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and one of People Magazine’s Companies that Care. For more information, please visit Follow Kimley-Horn on LinkedInInstagramTwitter, and Facebook


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