Traffic congestion is the worst thing of a city … and a nightmare for its residents. The problem is only increasing with more population inflow to the cities, a growing number of vehicles, and, in some cases, a crowded public transit system.
However, the problems of traffic congestion can be addressed and eliminated by technology. Not just by providing remote working facilities to employees commuting a long distance, but by actually integrating smart technology with the cities’ infrastructure and taking the requisite steps to ease the traffic congestion.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways technology can help in reducing traffic problems in cities:
Using IoT to solve problems associated with traffic
Using the Internet of Things systems and connected devices can help in the utilization of data in a better manner and make the lives of the inhabitants better. With the use of information and communications technology, the livability, sustainability, and workability of a city is enhanced and the key information is collected with the use of devices, sensors, and other systems and the data are sent to an analytics system to ascertain the things happening now and the things that are expected to happen the next.
Cars connected to cars connected to cities
Connected cars are connected to a wireless local area network and are equipped with the Internet access, which enables the vehicle to share Internet access with other connected devices both outside and inside the vehicle.
Automobile and technology companies such as GM, Tesla, Uber, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Baidu, Intel, Cisco, Amazon, and many others are testing autonomous self-driving cars in several cities so that they can equip the vehicles with sophisticated sensors for a smooth drive.
By wirelessly exchanging data, connected vehicles will be able to alert each other about traffic jams and delay-producing events.
Smart traffic signals
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 the day. The V2I technology will send the weather, safety-related updates as well as accident alerts to drivers.
Monitoring pedestrian traffic
Monitoring and understanding pedestrian traffic will help in addressing traffic congestion. Not only the V2I technology monitors the number of vehicles that go through a particular intersection, it also monitors the number of pedestrians crossing streets so that the vehicle traffic can be rerouted at times of high pedestrian traffic. Monitoring pedestrian traffic also enhances the safety of the pedestrians by delaying the lights when many of them are crossing the road and the light is about to change.
Real-time traffic feedback
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.
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 the vehicle-sharing apps, the number of private vehicles plying on the roads are bound to come down.
Replacing vehicles with drones
With the latest developments in the drone technology, the day is not far when many organizations will deploy drones to perform tasks such as delivering mails, couriers, bills … even pizzas instead of sending delivery guys and field workers. Some cities are planning to use drones in firefighting.