How To Manage Vehicle Traffic Through Technology
Vehicle traffic control in cities and highways is one of the most important aspects to deal with when we consider innovating infrastructure to get closer to the ideal of the future city. According to the WHO, approximately 1.3 million people die in road accidents each year, so reducing the volume of vehicles and managing those that continue to travel are urgent issues for the future, seeking to prevent this statistic from continuing or increasing.
Although the expansion of the roads to travel by car has been the solution preferred by most governments, the statistics have not shown significant reductions, so it is time to look for alternatives that, through technological innovation, allow simplifying the daily traffic. These high-tech solutions are a step forward to creating true “Smart Cities” that enable smart devices daily to adaptively manage city and cargo transportation in real-time.
What solutions currently exist? Where have they been implemented, and what positive changes did the cities that have implemented them present? Next, we will list specific cases that can be role models for all the countries of the world that are looking for a new way to manage their transport efficiently and safely.
Smart Solutions Around The World
Lima, Peru, is a pioneer thanks to the so-called “green waves” that, with great success, managed to reduce traffic jams during peak hours, lowering the waiting time of each vehicle in traffic by up to 30%. What does it consist of? They are the coordination of a series of traffic lights to remain green so that the vast majority of cars on the road, ordinarily congested, can circulate in the same general direction.
This is made possible thanks to resources already in place, such as programmable traffic lights, combined with innovative new equipment that sends data through smart sensors determining the time and place where continuous circulation protocols can be enabled.
This solution is useful in city spaces, although there are also those that, with similar innovation, focus on solving road problems. In Melbourne, Australia, where adaptive signs were installed along the highways that, depending on data accumulated with techniques similar to those used in Lima, change the legends presented on the signs, from the maximum speed to the travel time.
Combined with its sensors, the city of Melbourne installed closed-circuit cameras that allow them to monitor the flow of traffic in real-time, being able to make the necessary changes from one moment to the next. Thus, the signs reflect if there were accidents, alternative routes with less congestion, or if the speed can increase because the road is free, among other indications.
In addition to solutions focused on movement, some seek to control the volume of parked cars and the spaces designated for this purpose. In Valencia, Spain, they implemented downloadable applications on Smartphones that, in addition to managing common parking spaces in real-time, also manage more than 1,000 spaces intended for people with reduced mobility, taxis, or freight vehicles, thus saving time users allocate to appropriate spaces for them and even report possible waiting times for those looking for a place to park.
This solution is an example of how technological innovation can be used for the convenience of users and the sustainable objectives of cities since timely assigning drivers,
The investments that cities allocate to widening roads for transit are very laudable, but to see a significant reduction in accidents or congestion, they need to combine construction with innovation. In many cases, the infrastructure already exists, as with traffic lights or closed-circuit cameras, so all that is needed is an initiative that uses them for these new purposes.
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