Traffic engineers and construction teams are more frequently turning to IP (Internet protocol) technology to make travel safer, more efficient, and less stressful. So it’s never been a better time for Axis Communications, www.axis.com, Sweden, Lund, a provider of network video surveillance and ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) with IP video technology.

Technology companies are increasingly helping state and local governments reduce congestion, improve safety, and make roadways more efficient. Not only does ITS help create happy travelers it can also alleviate pressure on municipal budgets by offering a cost-effective alternative to physical roadway construction projects.

Spotlight on Iowa, where Dubuque has been engaged in a large-scale effort to build a citywide ITS that connects traffic signals, intersection cameras, and other IP-addressable technologies to an Ethernet via a fiber optic network. This provides traffic engineers with dynamic, centralized control over traffic flow throughout the town.

With cameras and other IP communication technology, the city has been able to push thousands of vehicles onto busy roadways at a tenth of the cost of physical construction.

To this end, Axis network cameras, have been deployed at 80 key intersections and along major roadways and bridges in the city of Dubuque to date. The video footage supports city engineers with their analysis of traffic patterns and making critical adjustments such as changing the timing of signals when accidents push vehicles onto alternate routes and adjusting signage and lane markings without engaging in costly construction. Additionally, traffic engineers can use that information to improve safety and reduce accidents in the future.

Research shows intelligent, IP-based video is fast becoming an integral component of traffic-management systems across the country. In fact, in 2011, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation released a comprehensive survey of ITS deployments indicating the number of freeway miles covered by video surveillance increased from 15% in 2000 to 45% in 2010.