As congestion in urban areas is becoming a major problem, cities are turning to smart technology for traffic to improve road safety and reduce wasted energy. This helps both drivers and passengers save time, reduces carbon emissions, and reduces traffic jams.

The technology behind this is based upon two key components: Hardware and software. The first is the subcomponent that runs, and the second is the command and control center. Both are complemented by the latest sensors and processing techniques such as ANPR (automotive license plate recognition) which records data about vehicles’ movements and is able to detect traffic signals.

Depending on the software employed, data can be processed on-device by smart traffic lights or sent to cloud. The latter provides more advanced modeling and predictive analysis to stave off traffic congestion and harmonize public transport schedules. In this way, they can cut average travel times by 25%, reduce signal wait times by 40%, and cut down on emissions by 20 percent according to Carnegie Mellon University.

In addition to reducing the time it takes to control traffic signals, a smart traffic light system can also increase the flow of pedestrians as well as micromobility vehicles such e-bikes and e-scooters. They are unable to adhere to the traditional traffic signal preemption laws. In London the e-scooter accident rate increased by 2,800% during the first quarter of 2021. Therefore, it is crucial to include them in traffic light control.