"What commonly happens in the invention process is that people are driven by the constant irritations and annoyances of life," Hobson said. "And traffic lights appear to have a malicious intent whenever you approach them." Waiting at a red light, he noticed a tremendous amount of traffic in one direction but nobody in the other. Yet the traffic lights still obediently kept to their programmed pace of red, yellow, green. Worse: the light tried to accommodate non-existent pedestrians, further delaying things.
Working alongside Vivacity Labs, TfGM is hoping that the new smart junctions will help reduce congestion, as well as protecting vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Vivacity Labs have announced the roll out of AI-controlled'smart' traffic junctions to accommodate the increase of active travel modes, such as cycling and walking, in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using sensors with inbuilt artificial intelligence, Vivacity says the new system enables TfGM to anonymously identify different types of road users at selected junctions and control traffic signals to allow different modes of transport to be prioritised as and when required. The traffic data specialist says that "with more cyclists on the road as people avoid public transport, these'smart junctions' will be able to give priority to people on foot or bike where and when appropriate." Vivacity Labs' first AI signal control system first went live early this year, before it was introduced to simultaneously control three neighbouring junctions in the Blackfriars area of Salford in September 2020.
Vivacity Labs and Transport for Greater Manchester have announced the rollout of AI-controlled'smart' traffic junctions. Using sensors with inbuilt artificial intelligence, Vivacity enables TfGM to anonymously identify different types of road users at selected junctions and control traffic signals to allow different modes of transportation to be prioritised as and when required. With more cyclists on the road as people avoid public transport, these'smart junctions' will be able to give priority to people on foot or bike where and when appropriate. The initiative won the Innovative Use of Technology award at the 2020 Intelligent Transport Systems Awards last week. Vivacity Labs' first-of-its-kind AI signal control system first went live early this year, before scaling to simultaneously control three, neighbouring junctions in the Blackfriars area of Salford in September 2020.
Mercedes-Benz's autonomous bus has successfully navigated a 20km route involving tunnels, traffic lights and junctions in The Netherlands. There's been much focus on autonomous cars, and how the introduction of self-driving vehicles to cities across the globe could help ease traffic congestion while making travelling by road much safer. Much of that congestion on city roads is ultimately caused by the large numbers of single individuals using a vehicle to get from A to B -- so while self-driving cars might improve traffic, the roads are still likely to be very crowded. But what if public transport were converted to be autonomous, enabling self-driving vehicles to carry dozens of people at once and perhaps encouraging some motorists to give up their self-driving car to take a self-driving bus instead? German auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is looking to help solve traffic and gridlock issues through the Future Bus with CityPilot, a form of public transport which is capable of autonomous driving because, according to the company, "people's need for mobility to attend work and school and take recreation, cannot be met by private transport alone".
Whatever sins you've committed in life, being sandwiched in traffic in Milton Keynes is a punishment no one rightfully deserves. This modern penance should become less gruelling from autumn next year, when Milton Keynes is expected to become the first UK city (or is it a town?) to switch on an AI-powered traffic management system. A company called Vivacity Labs, with a little help from the public purse, will begin installing 2,500 cameras into traffic lights around the city this September. When live, the system will monitor major junctions and car parking spaces in a 50 square mile zone, and be tasked primarily with tackling congestion. With thousands of eyes built into lights, the AI will be able to direct traffic more efficiently and dynamically prioritise emergency vehicles, buses and cyclists where appropriate.