Yunex Traffic, a global leader in intelligent traffic systems, today announced that every RSU2X deployed in the City of Tampa remained functional and could continue to generate real-time travel data after Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s Gulf Coast late September 2022. Using this data, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) can now develop better evacuation plans that will increase safety for road users and residents during future events of this nature.
Hurricane Ian came ashore as a category 4 storm near Fort Myers, Florida and delivered heavy winds in excess of 60 miles per hour to the Tampa region as the storm progressed across the state. At its height, the storm left more than 500,000 Tampa area residents without electrical service.
Yunex Traffic, the largest deployer of roadside units in the world, had deployed 48 RSU2X in Tampa’s central business district and along THEA’s reversible express lanes. They are an essential element of a U.S. DOT funded connected vehicle pilot operated by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) to advance the technology of connected vehicles and infrastructure.
Full functionality even in exceptional circumstances
All Yunex Traffic RSU2X’s including the ones installed in the area where Hurricane Ian hit, are housed in fully weather resistant, resilient cases. A full check of the devices after the storm showed that amid the stress and wires down throughout the area, the Yunex Traffic RSU2X’s were still in working order.
“Yunex Traffic is committed to public safety, and we recognize most of the United States is susceptible to natural disasters and dangerous weather conditions. That's why we need resilient and reliable devices that we can rely on. The RSU2X has shown that we can” said David Miller, Senior Solution Engineer, Yunex Traffic USA.
Valuable information for databased evacuation planning
More impressive than reliability alone is the data on drivers' evacuation routes and their travel times that the RSU2X’s generated in real time during the storm. This invaluable data makes planning for future events more seamless and accurate and travel more reliable, safe, and accurate.
“With the rise in the number of major storms and the increase in their intensity over recent years, having reliable and resilient RSU’s is crucial. This is why making sure our RSU2X will not only survive but will continue to operate when they’re needed most, was a core design pillar when we created them,” said Miller.
The RSU2X is the only RSU on the market that utilizes the automakers security certificates and are tested to be compatible with the major car manufacturers’ 2023 model on board units. The RSU2Xs also offer much greater computing power than previous models and feature bi-directional communication enabling the transmission of crucial information including speed limits and warnings, and the reception of onboard messages in real time.
RSUs will play an integral part in incident and traffic management
As connected vehicles continue to become more prevalent and sophisticated, RSU’s will play an increasing role in keeping drivers, transit riders and emergency responders safe by using the data collected from RSUs to better plan evacuation routes and response. As more safety applications are developed, RSUs will become an integral part in not only incident management, but also overall traffic management.
“We are saddened that it took a devastating hurricane to prove not only the function and resilience of the RSU2X, but also the value of the data generated, that can be used to prepare for incidents and increase road safety,” said Miller. “But now we’re even more confident they’ll live up to their life-saving potential when the next storm comes.”