Updated: Jun 24
Spending lots of time in day-long traffic jams as seen in most urban areas has a significant drag on the economy. Every city looking to transform into a smart city must tackle this.
Congested roads have several risks that include increased accidents, air pollution, noise pollution, delays in emergency assistance, and reduced productivity.
How is the technology can be used to improve traffic?
Traffic will continue to plague cities as more drivers hit the roads each year, and city engineers will need to look to cutting-edge technology to help the public have a healthier and happier life. We should continue to keep our eyes open and help city planners and policymakers find the right balance that our public spaces need to build a better future for our growing urban centers!
By implementing smart technology in the following areas, we can improve traffic flow in smart cities.
Smart Traffic Light Optimization
Traffic flow can be optimized by using connected technologies and programs through smart traffic lights.
For instance, smart traffic lights can be conditioned to offer responses to situations like blockage and gridlock in real-time. The programming can be done with the expert knowledge of the non-linear relationship between traffic flow and delay quickly maximizing the road capacity.
This can easily lead to road capacity being quickly maximized as the traffic lights are digitally set to respond to demands in real-time.
Autonomous Vehicle Usage
Without human intervention, smart cars can be able to discover new roads to reach a destination, practice effective collision management, platoon perfectly, and decide on the best parking spot by gathering data about free and empty parking zones. This would create a smooth pattern on the roads.
An example of autonomous vehicle technology is platooning which is the first step toward self-driving cars. It requires vehicles to communicate with each other about speed and conditions, allowing consistency in vehicle travel.
Using self-driven or autonomous vehicles will help manage and eliminate traffic jams caused by human error in a more digitally advanced way. Saving on commute time and congestion in the urban cities.
Pedestrian Traffic Monitoring Systems
Pedestrian traffic is one of the causes of congested traffic and needs to be addressed as a vital piece when understanding and trying to get solutions to cities' traffic problems. Smart cities are already using V2I technology to monitor pedestrian traffic and reroute vehicle traffic to less populated of the city accordingly.
Monitoring pedestrian traffic also enhances the safety of the pedestrians on the overcrowded streets. This is enabled by technology that alerts the city when pedestrians are on the road so they can delay the traffic light.
A connected vehicle is one that is able to communicate with other systems outside the vehicle through the internet. When connected, vehicles can share valuable data with other devices. The data collected can then be supported by smart programs like smart traffic signals and to improve traffic.
By wirelessly exchanging data, connected vehicles will be able to alert each other about traffic jams and delay-producing events.
Use of Drones City Management
This is one of the best ideas to reduce traffic congestion with smart city technology. With the emergence of IoT-based drone technology, most tasks that once needed inspectors, repair and delivery professionals, or city officials to travel in vehicles can now be done via drone cameras. Smart cities that employ drones to carry out regular tasks can quickly reduce the number of vehicles on the roads in congested areas, especially during peak hours
Building V2I Smart Corridors
Using V21 technology, road users can be informed about safety-related weather and road alerts as they drive on particular roads and expressways. These roads would act as smart transit corridors, where all the drivers have information about what to expect in the next few miles. They can then decide to slow down or use alternate routes to avoid further crowding.
V2I is playing a leading role in making traditional traffic signals smarter and more efficient. Fleets are outfitted with individual devices that collect and transmit the movement, speed, and other data points from individual cars throughout the city.
Adaptive smart Traffic Signals
Thanks to the vehicle to infrastructure (V2) technology, traffic signals have gotten a whole lot smarter. This technology allows cities to gain better insight into traffic, including the flow and the length of time cars idle at lights.
This information can then be used to modify the timing of traffic signals so that they coincide with traffic patterns during the day.
This program is giving city officials detailed insight on how long vehicles sit idle at traffic lights and this information can be used to make travel throughout the city more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
With the use of V21 technology traffic signals are getting smarter. The V21 technology gives a better idea of traffic flow and the duration a vehicle stands idle at the signals. This, in turn, can improve the traffic signal timing with the changes in traffic all through
Real-Time Traffic Monitoring
Public transportation systems can utilize feedback from real-time traffic reporting. This technology illustrates where vehicles and other modes of transit are located also shows where parking spaces are available, and so on.
The real-time traffic feedback provides information about the traffic around the city as well as makes concepts such as congestion pricing, under which the pricing structure varies depending upon peak traffic times as well as for single-passenger vehicles with the aim to dissuade the single passenger-drivers to be on the road during peak travel times.
Real-time traffic data can also be sent to drivers, helping them optimize routes and avoid congestion, accidents, and construction delays.
Vehicle-sharing and multi-modal solutions
Technology has made it possible for commuters around the world to download and install various vehicle-sharing and ride-hailing apps and carpool to their place of work. As a majority of people use vehicle-sharing apps, the number of private vehicles plying on the roads is bound to come down.
Reports are not yet consistent on whether or not car-sharing and ride-hailing apps alleviate congestion. But either way, they provide alternative options. City planners and those in the public transit industry see it as an issue of connectivity — making it easy to
These innovative methods require minimal spending and are long-term solutions suitable for even the most heavily congested cities. Governments need to plan well, use IoT, AI, and digitization, and respond timely to a crisis, to make urban roads smooth for commuters at all hours of the day.
The technology needed to add up to smoother traffic flows, fewer accidents, less congestion, and cleaner air is available now. Now it's up to city leaders to break out of their silos and take advantage of them.
WIASE RESEARCH INSTITUTE is committed to empowering cities and communities with the latest technology with the collaboration of DATA SCIENCE to implement the smart solution which can help cities and communities to survive in current challenges they are facing to be sustainable.