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IoT in transportation: all you need to know about smart traffic control systems using IoT
The number of vehicles on the road is increasing rapidly across the globe causing unmanageable chaos on roads. The increasing density of vehicles not only causes traffic congestion but is also a huge contributor to environmental pollution. It is a no-brainer that effective traffic control systems need to be implemented to streamline the flow of traffic.
The question is How? The answer is Technology!
Fortunately, digital solutions are now available to address the most complex issues that we face. Digital transformation is revolutionising various sectors and enhancing their efficacy. And, leveraging the right technology is the key to building efficient traffic control systems.
The technology that has emerged at the forefront to address vehicular traffic problems is the Internet of Things or IoT. We are all familiar with IoT technology because it has impacted our lives in one way or the other. One of the most common examples of an IoT device that we use is Fitbit. The device has sensors that pick up signals to monitor various health parameters in real time. These readings can be directly provided to a clinician who can recommend the required course of action. Essentially IoT sensors can be embedded anywhere to track metrics in real-time and necessary action can be taken instantly.
In an IoT-based smart traffic management system, vital information is provided by IoT sensors. This optimises the time interval of traffic signals so that they function according to the number of vehicles on the road.
A smart traffic management system enables the monitoring of traffic in all the streets in a city through a centralised control centre. Based on this data, conditions such as traffic jams or traffic congestion can be prevented with the help of dynamic traffic adjustments such as traffic light optimisation, entry alarms, etc. The IoT technology facilitates direct communication between intelligent vehicles at intersections or other important touchpoints on roads. Another vital feature of smart traffic management is that it helps provide priority access to emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police vehicles, etc.
How does IoT-based Smart Traffic Control Function?
The working of IoT for any application entails the integration of multiple objects into a single centralised panel. The integration is facilitated by built-in sensors, etc. that collect and transmit data to the control panel.
For smart traffic control, IoT sensors are installed in various vehicles. These sensors are integrated with traffic signals, street lights, etc. Sensors facilitate continuous monitoring and help reduce accidents. Additionally, IoT technology enhances the quality and efficiency of services by enabling traffic control professionals to analyse data gathered by sensors in real time.
Safety of transportation improves with IoT technology. This is because data such as the number of vehicles at a traffic junction or intersection can be tracked and required action can be taken to prevent accidents or mishaps. Traffic control professionals can optimise design processes to minimise operating costs based on data provided by sensors. IoT sensors can also monitor variations in traffic patterns and provide real-time data to drivers enabling them to choose routes that avoid traffic congestion.
The IoT technology facilitates connected vehicles. In other words, vehicles can be connected with IoT which makes it easy to detect the vehicle from a distance. It also helps monitor driver behaviour, driving style, etc. IoT sensors also provide data on the type of vehicle, its destination, speed, and more. All this data helps in regulating traffic on the road and reducing downtime.
IoT technology not only reduces traffic congestion and road accidents but also lowers fuel consumption by vehicles, and thus positively impacts the environment.
A smart traffic control system offers dynamic traffic signal processing based on real-time data. IoT sensors collect data on the number of vehicles, congestion, weather conditions, and more. All this data is processed and displayed on a centralised control panel. Traffic organisations and municipalities can monitor traffic conditions on the interactive control panel.
Technology is advancing at a breakneck speed and revolutionising every aspect of our lives. Smart cities are the next thing on the horizon. A vital aspect of a smart city is the seamless flow of traffic. IoT-based smart traffic control can optimise traffic flow and enhance the capacity of roads without the need for additional roads. IoT is a futuristic technology that has the potential to resolve most issues we face because of the fast-paced increase in vehicular traffic.
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