Traffic is that constant in our busy city lives that we hate but can’t control. But, our dearest tech friend, AI is here to sort that out too. City administrators around the world are now working with artificial intelligence for smarter traffic control solutions.
Artificial Intelligence based traffic management systems usually collect and analyze traffic data and patterns to provide solutions for traffic control. The field is still in its early phases of development. Thus, its implementation in the real world has been quite restricted so far.
Most smart cities are currently employing it to monitor traffic and study-related analytics. But, we cannot ignore its vast potential for the future. Several AI Traffic projects have suggested that it can significantly improve traffic congestions, consequently, reduce pollution and even facilitate in faster logistics for emergency vehicles.
Use of Technology in Traffic Management
AI powered Traffic Lights
Artificial Intelligence can be used to effectively optimize traffic lights. Through object detection algorithms, smart traffic management systems detect various vehicles on the road from images captured through the various cameras placed on the road. The AI detects vehicles in images from traffic cameras. This info is further sent to a control center where AI technologies are used to process traffic densities in real-time. In case of congestion, the system can guide the traffic lights to re-route vehicles. Thus, the system can be employed to reduce waiting time at cross roads and intersections.
Traffic Pattern Analytics
Besides managing traffic lights in real-time, AI algorithms can also be used to further study traffic patterns in different locations over time. Smart traffic control systems also utilize predictive analytics to identify repeating traffic patterns to take precautionary actions beforehand to avoid future congestion.
AI To Facilitate Emergency Vehicle Movement
UK based Future Cities Catapult has demonstrated that AI technologies in traffic management can prove to be critical in saving lives. Under its Life First Emergency Traffic Control (LiFE) project, it collaborated with Red Ninja to explore how AI can potentially cut off minutes from emergency journey times.
It further shares in its blog post that they have created a new algorithm for the purpose that would operate within the existing urban traffic signal control systems. It will help in clearing the congestion ahead of emergency vehicles and prioritise them first in the traffic.
Artificial Intelligence Systems for increased road safety
Increased road safety of pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers continue to be a major goal of AI-powered traffic systems. Yet, it also remains one of the challenges facing the AI traffic systems in case of errors or technical glitches.
The risky yet complex situations on the road require close surveillance. But, with all the new advancements in technology, city administrators can now automate these functions through AI and video analytics. These technologies can be effectively integrated into traffic systems to keep a check on careless drivers to ensure increased road safety.