SOURCE: Firetide Inc.

Firetide Inc.

June 26, 2013 09:00 ET

Firetide Wireless Mesh Network Helps Scottsdale, Arizona Relieve Traffic Congestion

Scottsdale's New Intelligent Transportation System Gives Operators Hands-On Control Over Traffic Dynamics and Dramatically Lowers the City's Operating Costs -- Paying for Itself Within Four Years

LOS GATOS, CA--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - Firetide Inc., the technology leader in next-generation wireless mesh networking, announced the successful deployment of a state-of-the-art wireless intelligent transportation system (ITS) for the Scottsdale Traffic Management Center (Scottsdale TMC). The ITS communications platform connects wirelessly to video cameras, traffic signal controllers and dynamic message signs on arterials throughout the city so experts at the Scottsdale TMC can continuously monitor traffic activity from a central command center. The ability to view live video feeds from heavy traffic areas enables city officials to make fast, well-informed decisions on how to prevent and reduce daily congestion, improve driver information and actively manage traffic affected by special events, weather, and emergency situations.

The City of Scottsdale covers an area of 185 square miles and is home to more than 225,000 citizens. The city's traffic congestion is exacerbated by the fact that Scottsdale borders Arizona's other large population centers including Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, and Mesa. Scottsdale also hosts many heavily attended special events and PGA golf tournaments.

Traffic experts can instantly identify and remedy congestion
Scottsdale TMC's wireless ITS network consists of 90 Firetide HotPort 7020 wireless mesh nodes, Firetide HotView Pro network management software, and 86 pan-tilt-zoom digital video cameras. To monitor traffic flows more effectively, the video cameras are strategically placed on traffic signal poles at intersections throughout the city, and connect directly to the city's network via Firetide wireless mesh nodes. Live video feeds of the most heavily trafficked intersections are continuously displayed on a large video wall and on desktop monitors in the command center, where operators can identify congestion and spot incidents as they happen -- enabling them to take corrective action and remedy congestion before it worsens.

The ITS delivers some important benefits to the citizens of Scottsdale including:

  • Reduced traffic incident delay. When collisions, spills or stalled vehicles occur, operators can adjust signal timing immediately to reduce the delay.
  • Pro-active traffic management through work zones.
  • Enhanced roadway safety. The system enables immediate detection and reporting of incidents to police, emergency services, media agencies, and the public.
  • Effective event traffic management. Costs are dramatically reduced by centralized traffic management and eliminating the need to deploy police officers at various locations.
  • Consistent travel times. The ITS enables Scottsdale to keep travel time on city streets steady and, where possible, even reduce travel time as traffic volume increases due to population growth.
  • Improved environmental conditions and reduced fuel consumption.

"Smart City" saves taxpayer money
Scottsdale is a forward-looking "smart city" that is focused on implementing technology to improve the city's critical infrastructure while saving taxpayer money. Migrating from its existing leased-line communications network to the newly deployed Firetide wireless infrastructure mesh network will save the city approximately $250,000 a year in lease fees alone, enabling the city to achieve full ROI in only four years. The ITS platform was procured through national provider Unicom Government Inc. (formerly known as GTSI Corp.), of Herndon, Virginia, via the pre-competed U.S. Communities contract.

Multi-hop network delivers wide coverage area
The Firetide wireless infrastructure network was selected because it proved to be the only solution that could deliver 100 Mbps of very low latency throughput while maintaining "low-sight" (less than 20 feet above the ground) wireless connectivity over long distances. Because the network supports up to 15 consecutive links, or "hops," it can easily be routed around buildings and trees rather than requiring giant 300-foot towers to operate above these obstacles. The Firetide network's built-in multicast and traffic filtering functions also eliminated the need to purchase external switches, saving the city $1,500 at every camera location.

"The success of the intelligent transportation system in Scottsdale serves as an example to other cities looking to improve their transportation networks, lower operating expenses, and provide a better quality of life for their citizens and visitors," said John McCool, CEO of Firetide. "By utilizing the power of mesh technology, cities of any size can quickly deploy a high-performance wireless traffic solution that is easily expandable as the city grows, and can be deployed at a fraction of the time and cost needed to install a wired network."

Firetide has applications in government, commercial and industrial settings
Wireless mesh network infrastructure supports video surveillance, mobility, wireless backhaul offload and process automation for applications such as public safety, transportation and smart grid. Unique to Firetide's solution is its patented AutoMesh™ technology, which enables businesses, governments and industrial customers to view live, high-bandwidth video feeds reliably, securely and with low latency.

About Firetide Inc. 
Firetide, headquartered in Los Gatos, California, has more than 10,000 customers in 40 countries around the globe, including Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit, the City of Chicago and the world's longest mesh network at the Thailand Royal Irrigation Department. Last month, the Atlanta Police Department deployed a Firetide wireless mesh video surveillance network to help control vehicle traffic and protect more than 500,000 fans during the 2013 NCAA Final Four basketball tournaments. For more information, visit or follow Firetide at @firetide.

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