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Why is the Smart Cities vision so important for the future?

At Clearview Traffic, one of the key concepts sitting behind many of our leading traffic management, traffic data collection, and traffic management products is that of Smart Cities – an integrated, sustainable, intelligent, set of real-time urban solutions working together to alleviate congestion and keep traffic flowing.

smart city

Cities are complex networks of interdependent systems, of which the transport system is a major part. Urban planners cannot afford to put in place technologies and systems that don’t provide tangible benefit.

This is increasingly more important, as the public are looking at the economic and environmental impact of urban living and commuting.

Current discussions within the Smart Cities concept include:

  • Technologies that can gather real-time information from all roads and pass it onto drivers in an informative and practical format, making it easier for them to plan minimised journey times, cut energy consumption and reduce congestion.
  • Technologies that identify available urban parking spaces and help drivers navigate straight to them, significantly reducing congestion in and around cities. This includes apps that allow people to book and pay in advance for urban parking spaces.

Other considerations around the Smart Cities concept include:

  • Getting information on viable park-and-ride options to drivers, to complete a journey using public transport to avoid congestion ahead of them.
  • Moving Active Traffic Management from motorways to all roads, to monitor traffic movement in cities and actively control traffic lights, bus lanes and variable message systems and introduce variable speed limits in towns and cities to ease traffic flow and reduce traffic jams.
  • Providing traffic information to in-car satellite navigation systems to reduce congestion over entire road networks, rather than just motorway sections.
  • Encouraging cycling as a viable option, with prioritisation for cycle lanes and active solar road studs showing cyclists the safest route ahead through complex junctions.
  • On low-use roads at night, using LED streetlights that activate when approached by cyclists.
  • Using active road studs to indicate when urban bus lanes are in-use, so traffic flows more smoothly during off-peak times.

Sound like science fiction? Far from it – many of these technologies are available today, and if we’re serious about shaping the roads of the future, we have to get started.

As Lao-Tzu said: “Even the longest journey must begin where you stand.”

Some of our products moving forward the Smart Cities vision already include:

SolarLite and Intelligent Road Studs – smart lane delineation systems, providing sustainable road and way marking solutions that significantly increase night-time road safety for all road users and ease congestion through dynamic lane marking.

M100 & M100BR – smart traffic signal management, easing the flow of traffic through responsive phasing of signals according to strength of traffic flow

M300 – smart parking, connecting people with available parking spaces quickly and efficiently

M210 & M680 – smart traffic flow monitoring, providing reliable vehicle and road capacity data from the roadside

If you’d like to find out more about our traffic data solutions, traffic data collection and traffic management systems, please feel free to contact us here.

Author: |Date Published: July 2013


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