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4 Uses of IoT in Traffic Management

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Oct 12, 2021
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There have been several important advancements as a result of modern technology and urbanization. The term "smart city" refers to cities that are equipped with cutting-edge technology. 


A smart city is a location where people use information and communication technologies to live in a well-organized and well-ordered manner. Here's how the Internet of Things will play a key part in smart city traffic management.


(Related: What is IoT?)


How is the Internet of things being used in Traffic management?


One of the most significant infrastructure challenges faced by emerging countries today is traffic management. Developed nations and smart cities are already taking advantage of IoT to reduce traffic congestion. People in all kinds of countries have quickly established a vehicle culture. 


People in most cities prefer to drive their own cars, regardless of how good or awful public transit is or how much time and money it would take to get to their destination.


( Must Read: 3D Geolocation and Mapping )


As a result, the growing usage of automobiles has resulted in massive traffic congestion. Several nations are addressing this traffic bottleneck by obtaining data from CCTV feeds and transferring vehicle-related data to city traffic control centers in order to assist in the creation of improvements. 


Better-organized traffic systems result in a smoother flow of traffic and fewer idle automobiles, buses, and trucks stuck in traffic jams. All of this correlates to shorter run times, more efficient use of natural resources (gas), and less pollution. 


Stop-start driving produces the most gas emissions, which occurs in areas where traffic is controlled by lights. As a result, opting for smart traffic helps to reduce pollution across the city.


Smart traffic management, on the other hand, includes elements such as smart parking sensors, smart lighting, smart roads, and smart accident aid, among others.


( Also Read: Applications of IoT in Daily Life )


  1. Managing Traffic Lights


IoT systems, as we all know, are made up of a slew of sensors and other data-gathering devices. The traffic signals are equipped with heat and moisture-sensitive sensors for monitoring weather-related data for better traffic light control. 


These sensors will then send data to traffic lights, which will adjust the brightness and intensity of the lights dependent on the weather and road visibility for vehicles.


To reduce traffic congestion, real-time data feeds are employed in traffic signals. Sensors installed in key locations may collect data on high-traffic crossings and areas where cars are diverted using IoT technology. 


Big data may be used to further analyze this information and determine alternate routes, as well as improve traffic signals to reduce congestion. Meanwhile, weather sensors installed on roadside lights may enable them to function. 


Light dimming occurs not just as part of the day-to-night transition, but also when weather conditions deteriorate. These signals may be picked up by roadside light sensors, which can then switch them on and off as needed.


Brightness adjustment is beneficial since it saves energy and prevents accidents caused by blinding lights. IoT systems can also use computer vision-enabled CCTV cameras to monitor and regulate traffic by changing the lights intelligently at the appropriate times.


Check this document from the International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology on “IoT based Smart Traffic Management System



  1. Management and Prevention of Road - Accidents


These days, road accidents are a pretty regular occurrence. Losing a life in a car accident is tragic for any cause. People have died in a variety of scenarios due to a failure to receive timely care. 


Because there would be no one around to aid them, it will be difficult for them to obtain assistance. The most important element here is immediate communication with the hospital or authorities, and if that is accomplished, the rest will fall into place. 


As a result, if IoT-based solutions are used, incidents that occur in remote locations or late at night would not gain momentum.


(Must Read: Top Self Driving Car Companies )


 IoT can be very useful for connecting with vehicle owners and alerting them to impending road conditions. Computer vision powered cameras often monitor the road for potholes and oil spills. 


When such systems identify these or any other type of road undulation, they send a digital alert to any incoming vehicle driver via their car's infotainment system. 


However, the IoT-based traffic control system successfully overcomes this issue. Any type of collision is detected by the sensors on the road, and the problem is instantly reported to the traffic management system, which takes additional action to resolve the issue.


When a driver is aware of a potentially dangerous road undulation, he or she can drive cautiously or choose an alternate route, avoiding a possibly fatal collision. Furthermore, IoT may be used to prevent drivers from harming people on the road.


( Must Read: Ways in which IoT can help in Disaster Management )


Watch this video on Traffic Management:

  1. Cameras and Sensors


Various sensors and video cameras may be put at various locations along the road to count the number of cars and give alerts to the various personnel who will be beginning in 15 minutes. 


If there are more cars on the road than predicted, the sensors might extend the duration for the green light. The number of vehicles on the road may be precisely anticipated if we know how many two-wheelers, four-wheelers, private or public vehicles will leave at a specific moment. 


An alarm can be issued to different other employees in the workplace at the appropriate moment so that they can begin when the traffic on the road is less congested. We can absolutely assure smooth vehicle flow on the road by working on vehicle management on the road. 


This would ensure that all cars go quickly and without stopping. In the same way, if there are fewer cars, the red light period might be extended to allow more vehicles to exit the premises. In the event of a sudden surge in traffic flow, sensors can reroute and give other shorter routes.


( Must Read: Applications of IoT in Defence and Military )


Reduced commute time for employees would be one of the advantages. Employees must also take initiative by entering information about their cars and when they leave the office into the computers. 


All of this information may be gathered from various devices through the Internet and combined into a traffic flowchart.

The image depicts how Smart Traffic management can be done using sensors.

Smart Traffic Management using Sensors

  1. Parking with Insight


In the context of urban planning, parking has become an Achilles heel. It is the most serious problem confronting the traffic control staff. Cities' infrastructure prevents individuals from parking their cars appropriately with ease. 


In congested sections of a city, parallel parking and a shortage of parking places have resulted in several traffic jams.


How can the Internet of Things enable smart parking, and how can the parking problem be handled in practice? Well, the answer is rather straightforward. The data from all unoccupied places in a parking lot will be collected by IoT sensors, and the automobiles that enter the lot will receive this data. 


Cars will not have to look for parking places in this approach. They may just enter the parking lot and proceed to the unoccupied place. This will minimize parking lot congestion and make it easier for automobile owners to park their vehicles.


Some cities in Europe and the United States have already deployed smart parking technology, and they have experienced considerable reductions in parking difficulties. 


They were able to handle the parking problem in less than a year. This is one of the major benefits of using the Internet of Things in traffic management.


( Also Read: Top Internet of Things Examples )


Challenges of using IoT in traffic management


With cons, all pros become more measurable. While IoT and big data provide ground-breaking possibilities for smart traffic management and solutions, they also have certain drawbacks. 


  1. To begin with, contemporary cities already have infrastructure difficulties such as road planning, zoning, and other construction-related issues that might cause problems when IoT technology is used.


Must Check this Project for an IoT-based real-time traffic monitoring system for city governance.


  1. Secondly, all of these fancy, high-tech solutions need high-speed data transfer techniques, which means they can only be used in cities with excellent internet access. If this connectivity is disrupted for any reason, the smart city as a whole may crumble.


  1. Thirdly, as the number of devices connecting to the central network grows, hackers will have more possibilities to launch harmful attacks. To create an impenetrable hack-proof smart traffic solution, an additional layer of security will be required, in addition to the usual one and another on top of that. Data privacy will also need to be protected, which will necessitate the involvement of legislators and engineers.


(Suggested Read : Data Security Practices)



Summing Up


The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a wide range of applications and solutions. One such use in smart cities is traffic control. Global cities can be administered and controlled more efficiently by integrating IoT with concepts like computer vision and AI. 


Traffic is an important element in determining a city's livability and efficiency. If data and sensors are used effectively to regulate traffic, population growth will become a smaller issue to manage. 


IoT will play a significant role in the development and integration of services and infrastructure as smart cities mature and grow in number in the coming years.

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