Smart traffic signals coming

July 23, 2014

Somreet Bhattacharya, TNN |

NEW DELHI: The capital’s roads are all set to have a ’smart’ signalling system that will measure traffic pressure on a stretch and change signals on it accordingly. One of these is being installed at Dwarka Mor crossing. Traffic police will study its effectiveness during peak hours.

Police will soon issue tenders for installing the system at Aurobindo Marg, India Gate, Nelson Mandela Marg and Connaught Place. “Earlier, we had technical difficulties and little expertise. If this project is successful, we will install it in other areas,” joint commissioner of police, traffic, Anil Shukla, said.

Under this new system, the smart signals will have remote sensors which will communicate with nearby signals to control the traffic flow at a particular intersection. At present, signals are controlled through a preset timing system which at times result in pileups during peak hours or induce drivers to skip signals during lean hours.

Every time there is a jam at a particular crossing, someone goes and analyzes the pressure of vehicles and adjusts the signals’ times manually. The problem arises when one of them breaks down. The entire system then must be shut down until the signal is repaired.
However, under the smart signalling system, if one signal breaks down, the others will keep functioning because each works independently. What’s more, police at control rooms can identify a faulty signal instantly if one of them breaks down. The smart signals with independent power systems have inbuilt antennas and sensors that relay a change of traffic light to the next post which, in turn, responds automatically.
In case of a road like Aurobindo Marg, which has signals arranged in close succession, a driver must stop at every crossing as timings of all signals cannot be synchronized due to heavy traffic pressure on connecting roads, a traffic official said. “But, under the new system, if there is one car waiting at the signal when connecting roads are empty, it will turn green,” he said.


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