‘Smart’ new traffic lights could help reduce rush hour traffic and generate safer roads
Brand new pioneering traffic lights, with AI technology, could mean rush hour traffic becomes a thing of the past in the UK.
The traffic lights come fitted with artificial intelligence, smart enough to be able to automatically react to excessive traffic, meaning safer roads and no more rush hour traffic jams.
These ‘smart’ traffic lights located at specific junctions, will have the ability to monitor speed and congestion, calculate and prioritise ahead for buses, cyclists and emergency service vehicles with the green light, as well as being able to evaluate how motorists and pedestrians use the road by way of special heat-maps.
A trial is being carried out as part of the £3million project in Milton Keynes this September. All major junctions and car park spaces will be monitored by 2,500 sensors, which will be able to recognise and pick out different vehicles and particular road users. The smart technology will be able to manage the traffic in real-time.
Currently, traffic lights work in sequence but don’t have the ability to react to any of the vehicles near them and all monitoring of traffic is still carried out manually.
Special cameras will also enable the traffic lights to calculate and then prioritise buses, cyclists and emergency service vehicles with a green light.
Dashboards in vehicles could also in the near future be able to communicate with these ‘smart’ traffic lights, warning lorry drivers as to the presence of a cyclist, plus the technology could also provide the means for traffic lights to communicate with driverless cars, informing them from around the corner that there’s a pedestrian crossing over the road.
The ‘smart’ technology has been created by Vivacity Labs, who’ve now managed to secure a £1.7m project grant to introduce a city-wide sensor network.
According to the inventors, the scheme in Milton Keynes will be the first step in generating an intelligent traffic management system “that avoids bottlenecks and improves safety by influencing traffic movement as it happens, based on the type of traffic and monitoring the areas where it becomes congested.”
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