Indiana Dept of Transportation uses WiMAX for traffic management

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has deployed a wireless network for a statewide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). This wireless network uses over 600 radios from Proxim, and connects traffic and video components over hundreds of square miles throughout the Northwest Indiana and Indianapolis areas, enabling the following traffic-related applications:

  • Traffic Management – Residents of Indiana and Illinois can visit INDOT’s TrafficWise Web site to get real-time traffic updates as well as visual images of the roads they are traveling. The images are provided by video cameras connected wirelessly via WiMAX base stations using unlicensed spectrum (5.8 GHz).
  • Dynamic Messaging Signs – enables the immediate updating of the dynamic messaging signs to warn drivers of road conditions, accidents, detours and Amber Alerts.
  • Solar-Powered Traffic Detection Radar Sites – INDOT uses many radar sites to detect the flow of traffic and warn drivers of slow traffic conditions ahead.
  • Seamless Connectivity to Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) – All of these components are seamlessly connected back to INDOT’s two TMCs via wireless backhaul links, saving INDOT millions of dollars in up front deployment costs by not requiring the use of fiber to connect all components. INDOT uses a leased line to tie the two TMC sites together.
  • Wireless Remote Management – INDOT engineers can access the network remotely via Wi-Fi.

Years ago, INDOT used license spectrum and fiber for traffic management, but discovered that these are very expensive. By using wireless over unlicensed spectrum, the cost has dropped dramatically. Wireless technology also gives them more flexibility. Deploying the WiMAX base stations is quicker, especially when they have to place and move around warning sensors and signs around road construction sites.

INDOT used Meade Electric of Illinois to handle the integration of the Proxim radios throughout the network, including all of the tower and electrical work. The ITS Technology Deployment Team at INDOT managed the entire process, from initial design all the way through deployment.

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