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AT&T ADAPTS SUBMARINE DETECTION TECHNOLOGY TO TRAFFIC CONTROL

 ARLINGTON, Va., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Submarine detection technology AT&T (NYSE: T) developed under sponsorship of the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) may soon be battling a new national threat -- growing traffic congestion.
 Dr. Edward Harper, who heads AT&T Federal Systems' Custom Electronic Services unit, says he is convinced sophisticated defense technologies such as acoustic sensing and automated signal processing can play significant civilian roles in traffic control and other areas.
 "We are transferring our `dual use' technologies from military to commercial applications to provide a civilian return on the nation's defense investment," Harper says. "Traffic control is the first of what we believe will be many such applications."
 The first AT&T Custom Electronics commercial product to result from the conversion of defense technology is the company's SmartSonic(TM) Traffic Surveillance System.
 AT&T's SmartSonic pizza-box-sized sensors can count, classify and measure the speed of passing vehicles simply by listening to their "acoustic signatures" -- the highly individual sounds vehicles make.
 When mounted beside or above roadways, AT&T SmartSonic sensors will be capable of classifying vehicle types by counting individual axles. The sensors also will be able to measure traffic flow. Such data is critical to state and local highway officials.
 "Accurate measurement of traffic flow is the key to maintaining efficient highway usage," Harper says. "Classifying the types of vehicles using highways is an important element in predicting highway wear and tear, determining future highway needs and for meeting federally mandated reporting requirements."
 The new AT&T sensors also will let highway authorities constantly monitor traffic flow, making them instantly aware of accidents and disabled vehicles so that they may be cleared before major congestion results.
 Data collected by AT&T SmartSonic sensors also could be used by highway authorities to control ramp access to congested interstates. And such data could give authorities the information they need to divert traffic to alternate routes by displaying messages to drivers on roadside or overhead electronic signs.
 In addition, AT&T's SmartSonic sensors are environmentally safe, since they produce no microwave or other electronic emissions.
 SmartSonic sensors will replace costly-to-install "loop sensors" that must be embedded in highway pavement and must be replaced each time the highway is resurfaced.
 AT&T's SmartSonic sensors offer many installation and maintenance advantages over traditional loop sensors. For example, SmartSonic sensors can be mounted on existing poles, overhead signs or bridges, reducing installation time from hours to minutes and increasing safety for installation crews.
 AT&T's SmartSonic Traffic Surveillance system will be on display at the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS) America trade show April 14-17 at the Washington Sheraton Hotel.
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Jones, AT&T, 919-279-6511/
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CO: AT&T SU: Virginia IN: CST TRN SU: PDT

SB -- CH002 -- 1882 04/01/93 09:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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