AWS Public Sector Blog

Modernizing mission critical transportation technologies in the cloud

birds eye view intersection hong kong

In state and local government transportation, infrastructure owners like departments of transportation, traffic agencies, tolling authorities, public transit agencies, airports, and seaports, all strive to operate more efficiently. They’re working to deliver safe, dependable, and equitable transportation experiences to citizens, regardless of how, when, or where they travel.

Systems designed 20 or more years ago performed as designed but now lack the flexibility needed to address the challenges of operating a modern and efficient transportation infrastructure. Many state and local governments have to rely on legacy systems that were fit to task they were built for but today are outdated and underperform.

Forward thinking public agencies are turning to a new breed of solutions provider—one not tied to a legacy framework that cannot address current traveler needs. They work with system integrators, independent software vendors, and consultants to innovate using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to improve traffic safety, construction project management, analytics and reporting, and secure identification. Here are some modernization examples of how builders on AWS are transforming transportation using technology:

Improving traffic safety

Government technology (GovTech) firm Iteris relies on AWS to offer their customers end-to-end solutions for smart mobility infrastructure management with the goal of improving safety and mobility for all road users. At the intersection, for example, Iteris combines cloud-based analytics with advanced sensors to make sure that signal timing maximizes driver, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, optimizes traffic throughput, and reduces red light incidents. Iteris helps monitor intersection health, provide proactive alerts, optimize signal timing, and calculate travel time reliability, while deploying vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies to ready cities and states for the further proliferation of connected and automated vehicles. At the transportation network level, Iteris’ cloud-based ClearGuide™ identifies the underlying causes of congestion and delay at intersections, arterials, and highways to support states such as California, Georgia, and North Carolina, regional agencies such as Los Angeles Metro and Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and local municipalities such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Lakeland, Florida, allowing them to use a single modern platform for powering a range of constituent services that were previously fractured, siloed, and incomplete.

According to McKinsey, by 2030, about 95 percent of new vehicles sold globally will be connected, up from around 50 percent today, meaning they can share anonymous data on speed and volume. GovTech Waycare uses connected vehicles (CVs) as a cost-effective supplement to roadway sensors. Gartner estimates that each CV generates 280 petabytes of data annually, making cloud an ideal way to store and analyze it. Waycare is leveraging this data for key insights to be found, extracted, analyzed, and translated to produce actionable insights and predictions for traffic safety and congestion management.

AWS Technology Partner Nexar offers another approach, using networks of drivers to see road conditions that would otherwise be unobserved. At the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) this includes identifying where and when roadway construction is happening, conditions of road signs (if any are damaged or missing), adding imagery to provide visual context about challenges on the road like problematic intersections, or why constituents are complaining about a particular location. They employ dash cams in vehicles and apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to images precisely located on a map, protecting both driver and constituent privacy by blurring license plates and removing faces. With this information, traffic agencies can improve roadway safety and efficiency by understanding roadway conditions and taking action to minimize negative impacts to road users.

Enhancing the infrastructure inspection process

AWS Technology Partner HeadLight automates the traditional paper-borne process for infrastructure inspection. They capture geolocated video and image data for improved reporting and decision making to help build and repair bridges, roads, and other critical infrastructure. Every construction project at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development uses HeadLight, and over one million observations delivered a 28 percent increase in productivity of inspectors. Agencies can prioritize their critical work by inspecting more projects and prioritizing maintenance and repairs when and where they need to happen first. Quality of life has also improved since inspectors don’t need to come to the office to physically file reports. Other benefits include risk mitigation against project delays and defects. There is often at least a 75 percent reduction in claims because there is more data available in real-time. HeadLight is used by a number of public infrastructure owners, including departments of transportation in Utah and Rhode Island.

Delivering effective constituent services

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) worked with AWS Consulting Partner Enquizit to develop and execute a data migration roadmap, combining all USDOT agencies who were in various phases of their own cloud journeys. In six months, this transformation moved USDOT from a decentralized patchwork of disparate departments without internal transparency to an upskilled, security-compliant setup operating efficiently on the AWS Cloud. This process started with a portfolio discovery to identify a map of current system capabilities and migration paths. As a result, USDOT can consolidate information from multiple sources to provide up-to-date and actionable data to states and local government.

Securing personal data with digital identification

Identity, security, and biometrics firm Idemia, an AWS Technology Partner, provides secure identification services for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well as departments of motor vehicles. This includes mobile identification (ID) services for the Arizona DOT (ADOT) Motor Vehicle Division. Idemia enables a digital version of driver’s license and other state-issued ID in a smartphone app with support for physical and online ID verification. Idemia’s Mobile ID augmented identity solution complements physical forms of identification, providing privacy and enabling secure, authenticated, and verified transactions for drivers in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Delaware.

These companies all build on the AWS Cloud to provide their public sector customers with modern tools to improve safety, quality-of-life, and mobility experiences for the traveling public.

To learn more about what modernization looks like on the ground in the transportation sector, join us to discuss how the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada uses vision data to manage its roads in the cloud or contact our team.