Smart cities need smart traffic

With smart cities and smart technology reaching new heights the roads are racing to keep up.
Smart cities need smart traffic

Does the idea of putting an end to start-stop driving sound unrealistic? It might for right now but look how far have smart cities come in recent years – it’s not impossible. And, not only that, but traffic contributes vastly to the competence of a city; poor traffic control, low efficiency.

But that could all soon change with new smart traffic lights being trialled in the UK, in a ditch effort to put an end to start-stop driving once and for all.

But what NCN really want to find out, is whether this is actually feasible. Developed by engineering firm AECOM, the technology is said to advise both drivers and road users what speed they should be travelling in order to arrive at the next set of lights as they turn green.

One of the many benefits the company say is that it could cut congestion and reduce vehicle emissions through more efficient driving. Testing of the lights will be carried out using a simulation model of the A59 in York.

The initial concept is one of five shortlisted in a competition launched by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Highways England, and Innovate UK to design roads for driverless cars.

“We are excited and are eager to get started so we can better understand the potential impact of vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies on our local road network in York,” says AECOM principal consultant Heather Hawkins.

“We are fortunate to be living and working in a city which has chosen to be an early innovator, deploying and testing these technologies on-street through existing research programmes. It’s truly inspiring and we are grateful to be a part of it.”

NIC chairman Sir John Armitt hailed the ‘progress’ in the development of the cars of the future.

“We can see for ourselves the progress in developing cars for the future, with trials of driverless cars taking place across the country,” he adds.

“We now need to make sure the technology on our roads keeps up.”

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis praised the move to trial the traffic lights.”It is great to see novel technology like this being trialled,” he says. “Stop-start traffic causes drivers to use their brakes more, which causes wear, and accelerate more, which can increase vehicle emissions.”

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