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As urban traffic congestion is a major issue, cities are turning to smart technology for traffic to improve road safety and reduce wasted energy. This helps motorists and passengers save time, lowers emissions and decreases traffic congestion.

The technology behind it is based on hardware and software. The former provides the executing component, while the latter serves as the command and control center. Both are complemented with advanced technology for sensing and processing tools, for instance ANPR (automotive plate recognition) which records data about vehicle movements and is able to detect road signs.

Depending on the solution, smart traffic lights can process data on-device or send it to a cloud location. This allows for more sophisticated analysis and modeling to reduce traffic congestion and align the schedules of public transportation. According to Carnegie Mellon University, this will cut travel time by 25 percent, while signal wait times are reduced by 40%, and emissions are reduced by 20%.

In addition to decreasing traffic signals‘ control delays, a smart traffic light system can enhance the flow of pedestrians as well as micromobility vehicles like electric scooters and e-bikes. They’re not able to conform to traditional traffic signal preemption laws. In London the number of accidents involving e-scooters increased by 2,800% during the first half 2021. It is therefore crucial to include them in traffic lights controls.