Smart City technology makes beacons part of the Internet of Things for more efficient operation
Fort Bend County, Texas, has installed 140 new flashing school zone beacons using Smart City technology developed by Applied Information, Inc.
The new beacons are now part of the Internet of Things (IoT) which provides a wireless connection to each flasher that enables traffic engineers to monitor and update the entire system remotely, making it the most advanced system of its kind.
A suburb of Houston, the Fort Bend Independent School District is the seventh-largest school district in Texas with 75 schools and approximately 74,500 students.
The Applied Information Glance School Zone Flashing Beacon System is powered by the AT&T mobile network’s IoT platform and provides instant alerts in the event of a lamp or battery failure as well as remote adjustments of the beacons for weather events, school timing changes, holidays and emergencies.
“Fort Bend County and our supplier Paradigm Traffic have teamed up to make upgrades to the existing school beacons with the help from Applied Information,” said Brian Fields, Fort Bend County Traffic Signal Supervisor. “Since the deployment of the web based system, the complaints for the school zone beacons not working properly have dropped significantly.”
As part of the upgrade process, the beacons were future proofed with the installation of hardware that anticipates advancements in technology and with over-the-air software update capability just like smartphones use today.
“Our staff is able to use the browser-based system tools to quickly manage the system and address any issues that might pop up, allowing them to accomplish other duties in the county without worrying about the school flasher system,” said Fields.