Using technology to clear traffic jams

Traffic jam
Image: CC-BY

Traffic jams are a daily reality for many people who live in cities. In London, Transport for London (TfL) is using a wide range of technology to try to improve the average 46 hours a year that Britons spend sitting in traffic. Cameras in traffic lights and under road pressure sensors help provide real time data about the intensity of traffic travelling a given section of road, allowing decisions to be made about the length of time between traffic light changes. This helps ensure the smooth flow of traffic in all directions.Other technology automatically increases parking charges at the busiest times of day, hoping to encourage drivers to use the less busy periods or leave their vehicles at home completely. Self driving cars, which can react more rapidly to changes in traffic lights and perhaps reduce distance between vehicles, are another possible option.

However, regardless of how problematic traffic is for us, we should be grateful that we weren’t in China two years ago, when the world’s longest traffic jam – 60 miles – took over two weeks to clear!

Source: Telegraph article


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