Artificial Intelligence Traffic Lights: The Next Step in Traffic Management
Smart traffic lights powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon be monitoring roads. In Milton Keynes, a city in the United Kingdom, these ‘smart junctions’ are expected to react intelligently and ease heavy congestion, especially during the rush hour this area is famous for, reports said.
The bold switch to AI traffic lights cost the city roughly £3 million. The ground breaking technology was programmed to prioritize ambulances, buses, cyclists and create safer roads. In addition, the new streetlights will be using “heat maps” to analyze data on how pedestrians and drivers are behaving on the road.
Vivacity Labs, an urban mobility company, has received the green light to commence installing 2,500 cameras into traffic lights around the city. The sensors will be monitoring major junction points and car parking spaces. The initiative should be fully operational by September 2018.
Milton Keynes Gets AI Traffic Lights
According to reports, Milton Keynes is the first in a larger and wider intelligent traffic management system. The use of AI will prevent bottlenecks and improve safety because the sensors will react to traffic situations as they happen.
the Milton Keynes system “lays the groundwork for the smart city of the future
“There is very limited intelligence to the current management of urban roads. By introducing AI into the camera itself, Vivacity Labs has created a system that accurately identifies and reports road usage, removing the need for cumbersome manual interpretation and significantly reducing the potential for human error,” the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Yang Lu, was quoted in an interview.
The official also made the bold pronouncement that the Milton Keynes system “lays the groundwork for the smart city of the future; using data flows to guide driverless vehicles to their destination with minimal congestion.” Incidentally, Milton Keynes also happens to be one of UK’s testbeds for autonomous vehicles.
The system’s thousands of eyes and sensors can also be linked to current traffic management systems so that vulnerable road users such as cyclists will be kept safe at stop signs. The system can also direct traffic away from congested areas or choke points as well as inform drivers in case there are road hazards along the way.
This development, once implemented, will be a welcome respite to motorists braving the daily gridlock at Milton Keynes. Although small, this innovation is seen as the next big thing in traffic management. Similar projects are being developed and tested in other parts of the world to make way for driverless vehicles and flying drone taxis. Finally, transportation is no longer at a standstill.