For the past few decades, our cities have grown exponentially, with more and more people relocating to the busy part of town, and then there’s the many thousands who live in the suburbs and commute to work on a daily basis. This has put tremendous strain on our traffic control systems, yet thanks to new and innovative use of digital technology, we can now provide surveillance and vehicle monitoring on a scale that was unheard of a few years ago.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)
This is where the future lies, and while we are making great progress with vehicle development, it is the ITS solutions that will really make a difference. These portable systems can be embedded into traffic lights, vehicle sensor points and can even communicate with passing vehicles, which will allow motorists to be aware of congested areas before they reach them and take evasive action. Smart traffic review data shows that these systems greatly reduce traffic congestion and more and more cities are turning to ITS solutions, as the results are clear to see.
Car parks can also take advantage of ITS and if they are all on the digital communication grid, drivers will be aware of the parking facilities that are not full and this will certainly help to keep traffic congestion down to a minimum. Digital connectivity allows many ITS set ups to talk to each other and this is the ideal solution for complex city grids, and with automated parking facilities and online parking availability, urban drivers will be in a much better position to make the right decisions before they set off on their journey.
The overall objective of traffic optimisation is to minimise the time that vehicles have to stop at traffic lights, and with digital connectivity, large networks can be integrated into a single system that constantly updates, changing with the volume of traffic. Research and development is, of course, ongoing and the signs are very positive, and with mass transit systems also improving, this should significantly reduce the number of vehicles on our city roads.
Pedestrian crossings can really cause traffic congestion, yet modern solutions can significantly reduce the amount of time (if at all) that vehicles need to stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road. Seamless connectivity with other systems also helps and people sensors will tell the crossing control that someone wishes to cross, which eliminates the need for pressing a button.
It isn’t only the traffic management systems that are going to help reduce urban traffic congestion, the next generation of vehicles will be much better equipped and will be able to connect with the various traffic management systems automatically, as soon as they enter the area.
Like every other aspect of modern life, road traffic management is greatly aided by digital technology and one day, traffic jams could well be a thing of the past in every city worldwide.