Parson’s New Smart City Challenge Will Transform Mobility, Improve Lives

Published : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 5:20 AM

Parsons Corporation has launched its first Smart Cities Challenge, called “Transforming Intersections,” that it said will allow cities to significantly increase mobility and reduce the amount of time citizens spend at red lights.

Parsons was formerly headquartered in Pasadena and still maintains a large presence in Old Pasadena.

Cities and counties that want their commuters to spend less time sitting at red lights and more time catching up with friends and family can apply to be part of the Transforming Intersections challenge, which intends to collaborate with governments to solve some of the most complex mobility issues, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“Every year people spend more than a week and a half of their life sitting at red traffic lights,” Chuck Harrington, Parsons Chairman and CEO, said. “By changing intersections through our Transforming Intersections challenge, we will not only revolutionize how cities move, but we’ll provide people with some of their valuable time back to do things other than sit at a traffic light. Our goal is to give cities the opportunity to increase their mobility, reduce their carbon footprint through reduced idling of vehicles, and keep their city moving.”

Through “Intelligent Intersections,” Parsons said cities and counties can leverage existing data to provide automated traffic re-timing based on changing traffic patterns.

In addition, vehicles connected with the system can communicate with traffic signals, which will lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly driving with a smaller carbon footprint and, ultimately, safer intersections.  With Intelligent Intersections, traffic signal owners can also provide priority to transit and emergency vehicles or automatically extend green cycles for pedestrians needing extra time to cross the street.

For most cities, managing their transportation network has become a complex mobility challenge as the population increases and the demand for new services grows. The solution for such complexity, Parsons said, could be as simple as transforming an intersection.

“Starting today, cities and counties in the United States, Canada, and beyond can apply to collaborate with us to use new mobility technologies to address the challenges their transportation networks face every day,” Andrew Liu, Parsons Vice President of Smart Cities, said. “The winner of the smart cities challenge will receive a free one-year trial of the Parsons Intelligent Intersections solution for their transportation corridor.

The company said more than four million hours of annual vehicle delays are caused by poor signal timing alone within the United States. In addition, 40 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen at intersections, the statement said.

Through Intelligent Intersections, Parsons said drivers can reduce their fuel consumption by 20 percent with well-timed signals. It added their solution contributes to the sustainability of surface transportation.

To apply for Transforming Intersections, interested cities and counties can visit and fill out a short-form online application.

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