Smart Technologies for Traffic

As congestion in the city becomes a major issue cities are turning to smart technology to improve the safety of roads and cut down on wasted energy. In addition, this helps to save time for drivers and passengers and reduces emissions. It also helps reduce traffic congestion.

The technology behind it is based on software and hardware. The first provides the subcomponent that executes, while the latter serves as the command and control center. Both are enhanced with modern technology for sensing and processing, such as ANPR (automotive plate recognition) which records data about vehicle movements and can identify road signs.

Depending on the solution, smart traffic lights may process data on-devices or transfer it to a cloud location. The latter is more sophisticated modeling and predictive analysis to reduce traffic congestion and to harmonize public transport schedules. According to Carnegie Mellon University, this can cut the average travel time by 25 percent, wait times for signal signals are cut by 40% and emissions are reduced by 20%.

A well-designed traffic light system is not only able to reduce the time it takes to get traffic signals, can also improve the flow of pedestrians and of micromobility vehicles like ebikes or electric scooters. This is due to the fact that they’re typically not able comply with traditional traffic signal preemption rules. In London, e-scooter accidents increased by 2,800% over the first half of 2021. It is therefore important to include them in traffic lights controls.