Applied Information Blog

How to manage an AC power failure to your traffic controller system

When power is lost at an intersection, traffic signals go offline and these interruptions create dangerous traffic conditions. Traffic managers often have no idea there’s a problem until a motorist calls to report the outage. This leads to late or inefficient allocation of personnel and equipment. Additionally, traffic managers struggle to accumulate the data to justify an investment in battery backups and other infrastructure. New technology has been developed to help traffic managers track outages in up-to-the-minute detail. This technology delivers two main benefits: event alerts and practical reports.

Event Alerts

Traffic managers are now able to receive immediate alerts whenever storms or infrastructure failures cause AC power outages at traffic controllers or school beacons. These alerts will signal traffic managers to alert utility companies and dispatch technicians with mobile generators. Most importantly, traffic managers will not need to wait for drivers or first responders to report an outage. This real-time intelligence can prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Practical Reports

The second major benefit of the new traffic controller technology is the creation of comprehensive reports about power failures. Outage information will be collected automatically into reports detailing which controllers are affected and how long they are down. This data will identify traffic controllers and school beacons with persistent problems. Traffic managers will have reliable data to support appeals for utility maintenance. They will also have the data they need to make strategic investments in new infrastructure.


Suppose a traffic manager is responsible for 100 traffic signals. During a storm, AC power is interrupted across a few city blocks, affecting a dozen traffic controllers. The traffic manager receives an immediate alert on their smartphone detailing the scope of the incident. They can then dispatch generators to the affected intersections so the traffic signals are quickly back up and running.

Later that month, a traffic controller report shows that one intersection has multiple AC power failures every week. The traffic manager relays the report to their utility company and asks for an inspection. She also revises her city hall budget request to include backup batteries for the traffic controllers with faulty power supplies.

Leveraging the Technology

Traffic is getting smarter, and it’s time traffic managers have the data they need to manage AC power failures more efficiently. Applied Information incorporated these solutions into its Glance Smart City Supervisory System so managers are able to leverage these features and better address power outages.

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