Traffic Signals are one of the most important guiding instruments on the road. Besides their importance, they are also sometimes frustrating for a lot of drivers. Whether you’re rushing to the airport, running late from office, or just heading home after a long day at work. A poorly managed traffic signal can surely bring down your mood. This, however, is about to change because traffic signals are about to get smarter.
This new system is developed by a California-based company called NoTraffic. For the starting phase, they have chooses the city of Phoenix in the US. It is one of the most populated cities in America and stands at 5th in terms of inhabitants. With a more significant population, the roads and traffic systems are more prone to choke here. So this serves as a good testing ground.
The traffic signals have been around for a long time, and since then, they have followed the same model. The conventional model uses a timer-based approach and evenly divides the time for each intersection. This works well until one side of the road is more populated than the other, and then we start to see some problems.
NoTraffic started the rollout of this project a few days ago. They have selected a few central locations for installation right now. This system will improve traffic flow as well as the delay in vehicle and pedestrian passing by using a real-time learning algorithm instead of a timer.
Earlier findings suggest that they have achieved up to Forty percent decrease in vehicle delay time. Tal Kreisler, CEO of NoTraffic, said. “I believe we will see impactful tech initiatives moving front and center. Playing a pivotal role in how the world emerges from COVID-19 and the economic recession that accompanies it.”
How it works:
Another great thing about using this new traffic grid management system is its ability to handle emergencies. Technically known as emergency vehicle preemption, it will give first-responders and emergency service vehicles the most unobstructed path through busy roads and high traffic areas.
The system uses Artificial Intelligence and connected vehicle technology (V2X) to differentiate between different types of traffic on the road. It can easily spot cars, bikes, pedestrians, buses, emergency vehicles, and even commercial fleets. According to the team NoTraffic platform tracks the cars on the road as they approach a traffic signal. It then calculates the best possible way to navigate the traffic around the intersection in real-time while keeping all the safety instructions intact.
As we said earlier, the Phoenix deployment is a test run for this system before deployment to other major cities. This initiative is part of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) emerging technologies initiative, which will test these new developing technologies on a small scale before large scale deployments and investments.
“We are now seeing the convergence of technology-enabled automobiles and traffic management systems working together to move vehicles more effectively through busy corridors,” said Phoenix Street Transportation Director Kini Knudson. He also explained that this opportunity to work on top-notch technology and partners from all over the world is pretty exciting for their city.
With smart cars from companies like Tesla becoming more mainstream. We can hope that our traffic system will soon get more efficient as well. MAG Executive Director Eric Anderson said that it is crucial to support these small technologies, which just need proper funding for real-world deployment. NoTraffic is one such platform, and they are eager to see how it performs in the early testing. More details on the project here.