Peachtree Corners testing 5G smart signal and driving app to keep traffic flowing

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. — A new traffic app can help with a driving headache: hitting all those red lights.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach went to Peachtree Corners to find out how it works.

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There are smart traffic signals all over the U.S. and metro Atlanta, but this one in Peachtree Corners is the first and only running on 5G.

The free Travel Safely app runs in the background when you’re driving and gives audible alerts for upcoming traffic signals.

Peter Ashley, of Applied Information, said the company started testing its Travel Safely app in Peachtree Corners this week, running it on T-Mobile’s 5G network.

“We can definitely see a significant difference,” he said.

The app also runs the city’s self-driving shuttles, to tell the signal to give the shuttle a green light. Everything is controlled from its network operations center, which can “monitor, watch, collect the data coming off of them,” Ashley said.

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Brandon Branham, Peachtree Corners assistant city manager and chief technology officer, said the 5G-enabled app has already shaved three minutes off the shuttle’s route. The city eventually plans to install the same 5G connectivity at all 30+ intersections in the city.

“If we can save 10 seconds for a vehicle to get through a signal, that’s a massive improvement of operation and flow through our city,” he said.

While driving and testing it on the road, Gehlbach found that messages and alerts pop up nearly instantaneously.

And in real-world conditions and traffic, milliseconds matter to safety.

“Every split second we can send out a message quicker, end up saving more lives and that’s aspect behind 5g. It’s just so much faster then anything else,” Ashley said.

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The same Travel Safely app can be used all over the metro area in Atlanta. Nearly the entirety of Marietta, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta have smart signals that will talk to your car, but for now Peachtree Corners is the only city running on 5G.

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