IBM and Telvent are developing a set of traffic solutions that is customized for small cities.

The two US-based IT service providers said the well-known congestion problems faced by bigger metropolitan areas tend to overshadow the traffic issues of smaller cities. In urban areas with populations of less than 500,000 people, drivers often waste up to 20 hours a week because of traffic delays.

IBM and Telvent said they would apply IBM’s advanced analytics and Telvent’s traffic management expertise to provide small urban areas the tools and the information they need to better control traffic and reduce congestion. The offering would also be priced affordably, they said.

“Real-time visibility across an entire transportation network is key to better traffic management regardless of the size of the area or population,” said Ignacio Gonzalez, Telvent Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

Congestion costs Americans more than 78 billion dlrs a year.The US Department of Transportation estimates that combining the best practices in operational strategies, such as incident management and optimization of traffic signal control, can reduce total urban travel delay by 500 million hours per year.