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Raleigh, North Carolina, has turned to machine learning to improve mobility and urban planning in the face of a “deluge of data” that the fast-growing capital city has acquired over the last several years, according to city GIS and emerging technology manager James Alberque.

Speaking at an virtual conference hosted this week by the mapping technology company Esri, Alberque said the city of 460,000 has gone from contracting people to sit at intersections and count cars to counting traffic with machine-learning software in real time, supplying policymakers with more accurate data to manage the city’s traffic. The new capability, driven by technology from Esri and the video graphics company Nvidia, spurred the city to deploy an additional 500 traffic cameras on signal poles this year, as well as outfit garbage trucks with cameras to record traffic as they move throughout the city.

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