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New traffic system using artificial intelligence

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Posted at 5:19 PM, May 03, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — Hopefully you notice a shorter commute, but you might not notice why.

"If you are looking closely, you can probably see the fisheye camera, but other than that it’ll look like all the other intersections,” said Pima County Department of Transportation’s Assistant Division Manager of Maintenance and Operations Michelle Montagnino.

The new system will use cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to better estimate traffic volumes, arrivals on red and side-street delays. But she says privacy issues are not a concern.

“Maybe you can make out a make and a color, definitely not a model, you’re not going to tell license plate information, driver, or any of that information,” she said.

The new system only applies to county roads in the metro area. Officials say it should make the biggest difference on the busiest streets including intersections on La Cholla, Ina and River.

“Trying to get people moving as quickly as possible through our streets in a safe manner, so it’s going to be used to optimize signal timing and provide better progression along our corridors.”

The updated system allows real time data gathering. A big improvement from the way it used to be done.

“In the past, we had to sit at an intersection, we did it once or twice a year, more depending on complaints,” said Montagnino. Montagnino says the new system should hopefully make rush hour less stressful, but no promises other drivers will be more calm and courteous!