Green light for adaptive traffic signals

Published - February 11, 2018 11:27 pm IST -

Bengaluru traffic police to replace all fixed-time-cycle signals with dynamic and data-driven adaptive signals.

Bengaluru traffic police to replace all fixed-time-cycle signals with dynamic and data-driven adaptive signals.

Traffic signals that turn red or green depending on traffic volume could soon be a reality in the city. The Bengaluru City Traffic Police (BCTP) has decided to replace all fixed-time-cycle signals with adaptive signals.

This means that commuters will no longer have to spend those frustrating seconds waiting for the signal to turn green for a near-empty stretch as traffic piles up as a result.

An adaptive signal is armed with a 360-degree camera that captures traffic volumes on each arm of the signal in real time. This data forms a virtual loop in the system and, based on traffic volume, the signal system allocates green time. This way, the time cycle of the signal is dynamic and data-driven.

Bengaluru has 388 traffic signals, and the BCTP installed 35 adaptive signals on a pilot basis in December 2017 through a private firm that had implemented the technology in Malaysia. “An analysis of the 35 junctions has clearly shown how best we can make use of green time relative to traffic volume,” said Kasim Raja, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic Planning.

This model will be expanded across the entire city. The State Cabinet cleared funds to the tune of ₹85 crore for the project last week.

“We are finalising the technical specifications for the tenders, which will be called soon,” said R. Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic). Tenders will be issued for 453 new adaptive signal systems — 353 to replace the existing fixed-time-cycle signals and 100 new ones, mostly at previously unregulated junctions in the outer zones of the city.

Phase 2

In the second phase, the traffic police aim to create a network of adaptive signals so that a signal can communicate with the next one the volume of traffic it has let pass. This will help create green corridors, the police said.

Traffic expert M.N. Srihari welcomed the move and said adaptive signals were the norm across all metros in the world. However, he said the city would do better with creation of signal networks and green corridors to ease congestion. “Adaptive signals need to be pragmatically adopted to the city’s traffic patterns. When BEL, a city-based PSU, has this technology, I don’t see why the BCTP had to approach a private player for the pilot,” he said.

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