17 August 2022

Around the World with Yunex Traffic: US

Yunex Traffic - Leading Mobility in Florida

With a population of 22-million people, Florida, USA has more residents than some European countries. Predictably, traffic management in its major cities plays a significant role in quality of life. At Yunex Traffic, we serve an equally significant role building solutions in those communities. In the state’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, we’re in the process of replacing nearly 3,000 outdated traffic controllers with Yunex Traffic systems that are networked to optimize traffic flow and reduce congestion. In Tampa, we’re working with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. We’re currently developing and testing connected vehicle (CV) technology, compatible with the major automakers first Onboard Units (OBUs) to be deployed in their 2023 models. But our collaboration with one smaller Florida town, has even farther-reaching implications for our work in the United States.

We improve the quality of life in Gainesville…

Gainesville is in the heart of what the locals call, old Florida. It’s a microcosm, perfectly representing the smart city, fully connected future of transportation. The city is home to the University of Florida, a nationally ranked research university that defines the town. With more than 52,000 students, an 88,000-seat football stadium and a citywide population of 134,000, it’s the perfect testbed for all the things we at Yunex Traffic do. Our company is committed to improving safety, reducing congestion, and creating a platform for the future, and that’s why Yunex Traffic has such a large footprint there. 

The university campus is surrounded by busy roads. On a typical day, thousands of students and faculty traverse the campus on foot, bicycles, mopeds and using transit. While the students and classes change from year to year, the traffic issues do not. Getting students around campus safely and efficiently is crucial to the university‘s success and that’s where  we as Yunex Traffic come in. As an industry thought leader in the future of mobility, we are collaborating with the university, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the City of Gainesville on multiple traffic pilots.

…by advancing the autonomous shuttle program

In collaboration with the university's I-STREET Living Lab and the Gainesville Regional Transit System, we at Yunex Traffic have advanced the university's autonomous shuttle program as part of the Trapezium Project. We mounted our new connected Roadside Units (RSUs), RSU2X, on traffic signal poles or mast arms to develop a communication network between the shuttles and the infrastructure. In an innovation that has implications for autonomous shuttle programs everywhere, we allowed the shuttles to go beyond the traditional closed loop configuration. Along with our partners, we permitted those shuttles to stop and go and turn left and right with changing traffic signals. Iouri Nemirovski, Yunex Traffic’s U.S. Field Device Product Manager, says the initiative is not only advancing autonomous transportation, but is also providing a vital service to students at the University of Florida. “This is a tremendous example of smart city operations. At Yunex Traffic, we believe technology should work for people and not the other way around. Giving students and faculty an efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly mobility option hits all of our pillars, and we’re very proud to be part of this effort.”

Extended protection for vulnerable road users

We look at Gainesville holistically. While the autonomous shuttle program goes a long way to building a robust and efficient transit system for the network, it doesn’t focus solely on safety. For that, we need to segue into another Gainesville pilot we’re deeply involved in. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently selected Yunex Traffic for the most comprehensive pedestrian and bicyclist safety initiative to date in the United States. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Working closely with FDOT’s Research Center, the City of Gainesville, and the University of Florida (UF) Transportation Institute, we will deploy a fully integrated Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) pedestrian safety system.  The project will use artificial intelligence-based cameras to recognize pedestrians and cyclists, increasing awareness and offering injury-preventing warnings. Gainesville and specifically UF, is a perfect venue for this research project because it has a problem in need of a solution. The corridors being analyzed in the project have a history of traffic incidents. There were 1,179 crashes in total between 2011 and 2015. Ninety-six of them involved pedestrians and bicyclists and in all, 81 people were injured.

The pilot will feature a fully connected network of detection cameras at 13 signalized intersections and six mid-block locations around campus. The sensor cameras are designed to trigger traffic signals and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) signs when cameras detect the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and others. When the system detects a potential hazard, it will generate safety messages that can be viewed in vehicles with Onboard Units (OBUs), and by pedestrians and cyclists who have downloaded an app.  

We have asked Iouri Nemirovski, what he thinks of the new safety approach: “This research pilot is designed as a system rather than a series of individually functioning pieces. In many ways, this project defines our capability as a system integrator. We are delivering hardware, software and installation to build an end-to-end solution – one that could be repeated in any city.”

And that is our overall goal in Gainesville. While it’s a midsize town, Gainesville represents communities five times its size as they transition to the future of mobility. Through these and other projects, we’re innovating solutions that have broad implications. At the conclusion of each pilot, our objective is to advance our company’s digital leadership and build broader knowledge to advance transportation.