Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Musings - Traffic aware signal lights

Why don't we have signal lights that are traffic aware? In a 4 way junction, if traffic is heavy on one or two legs why not adjust the timers based on traffic? Or use synchronized signals to control the flow better? (Technology exists, but நம்ம socialismக்கு ஒரு அளவே இல்லை. Equal time rights for all roads in a junction!!!) Bangalore seems to have a control center which uses video cameras and remote controlled signals for a few major junctions. Way to go, but not scalable. (என்னத்தன்னு சொல்லறது. It takes me 1 hour each to do 15 kms in the mornings and evenings)


Mmm...

5 comments:

Uttara said...

That's an idea...Not too difficult to implement right? How about a sensor that senses the density of traffic and controls micro controller of the signal appropriately. you know what, am gonna try it out :)

Uttara said...

I guess a carbon-emission sensor might do the trick, or I need to find the parameters with which one can say the traffic is high. Maybe noise sensor? It is easily operable, with piezo electric thingy. Symposiums! Here I come.(you see, season starts at December, great money to be made! :) )

RamMmm said...

Hey, Glad that there is an entrepreneur in the making. May your wish for more money be granted. :)

The principle is clean. As you state, put a few sensors on the approaches to signals, maybe from 100-150m, gauge traffic on all legs and correlate with the active green signal and fine tune the timers accordingly. Heavy traffic on all legs, go to defaults. Noise sensors will fail in India!!! Perpetual noise. :-(

You may need to really customize the solution for Indian roads and traffic sensibilities. Sensors placed on an approach to a signal would work, but our folks dig the roads like no other and throw stones on the road which could impair a sensor into telling wrong info or become a stuck sensor because of a cow sitting over it or a haphazard parked vehicle. :) :)

Uttara said...

:), Yes, We should never underestimate the power of cows! How about fixing a CO2 level gauging sensor to light itself (away from cows and road people) that can moderately gauge the number of vehicles with the emission!

RamMmm said...

Serious??? Those are only for pollution detection and anyway, direction flawed. Air draft can skew your readings to the point of uselessness.

In the US, there is the concept of loop vehicle detection. Look at Inductive Loop Write-up for a good intro. Use that concept and apply to Indian roads with traffic density and other variable factors to deduce effectiveness. Actually it is a good project in my opinion.