Cities are turning to smart traffic technologies to cut down on energy consumption and improve road safety, as traffic congestion in cities becomes a growing problem. Among other things, this assists in reducing time for passengers and drivers and lowers emissions. It also helps reduce traffic jams.

The technology behind this is based on two main components: hardware and software. The first is the subcomponent that runs, and the second is the command and control centre. Both are complemented with advanced technology for sensing and processing, such as ANPR (automotive plate recognition) which collects data about vehicle movements and can identify road signs.

Depending on the solution used, data can be processed on the device by smart traffic lights, or sent to cloud. This allows for more sophisticated modeling and analysis to reduce congestion in traffic and to harmonize schedules of public transport. According to Carnegie Mellon University, this can reduce average travel time by 25 percent, while signal wait times are reduced by 40%, and emissions are cut by 20%..

A well-designed traffic light system as well as reducing the time taken by traffic signals, can also improve pedestrian flow and the flow of micromobility vehicles like e-bikes or e-scooters. This is because they’re often not able to comply with traditional traffic signal preemption rules. In London the number of accidents involving e-scooters increased by 2,800% over the first half of 2021. Therefore, it is crucial to include them in traffic lights controls.

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