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CREDIT: INVEST OTTAWA

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TOURING THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION

Inside Ottawa's Traffic Control Centre and the Ottawa L5 Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Test Facilities BY GREG KENT & OMAR CHOUDHRY CITY OF OTTAWA, TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

From the traffic control center that manages the pulse of Ottawa to accelerating down the road in a self-driving car, a group of attendees at CITE 2019 had the chance to go from seeing the present state of transportation in Ottawa to a glimpse into its future. Sometimes called “Silicon Valley North,” Ottawa has long been a hub of technological innovation, playing host to companies like Mitel, Cognos, and Corel, through to modern day juggernauts Shopify and BlackBerry QNX. This innovative spirit has propelled entrepreneurs, businesses, and the City of Ottawa to be on the leading edge of developing and implementing new technologies and ways of operating.

EVOLVING WITH THE TIMES In 1990, the City of Ottawa Transportation Department undertook an initiative to develop an in-house computerized traffic control system, capitalizing on the

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TRANSPORTATION TALK | SUMMER 2019

emergence of personal computers. That initiative became the basis of the system that manages the city’s transportation network today. Program Manager of Signal Installation & Field Programs, Stuart Edison, P.Eng., walked CITE tour participants through details of the Traffic Control Centre (TCC) and how it is used by the City. As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa hosts over 1,000 special events annually that comprise races, marches, demonstrations, and celebrations, all of which can impact traffic in numerous ways. These events are in addition to the typical traffic collisions, vehicle breakdowns, and road construction activities as well as lane closures and encroachments from new building construction, utility work, and emergency repairs that one encounters in a region of 1.3 million people. With 20% of the region’s population living across the Ottawa River in Quebec, any incidents that occur on the five interprovincial bridges or on the Quebec side can quickly spill over and begin impacting traffic flow within the City.

Profile for CITE

Transportation Talk - Summer 2019  

From the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (CITE), Canada's community of transportation professionals. Learn more at cite7.org

Transportation Talk - Summer 2019  

From the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (CITE), Canada's community of transportation professionals. Learn more at cite7.org

Profile for cite7