Cities are adopting smart traffic technologies to reduce energy waste and improve road safety, as urban traffic congestion becomes an increasing problem. This assists in reducing time for passengers and drivers and lowers emissions. It also helps reduce traffic jams.

The technology behind this is based on two fundamental components: hardware and software. The first is the component that executes, and the second is the command and control centre. Both are complemented with advanced sensing technologies and processing, such as ANPR (automotive plate recognition), which captures data about vehicle movements and can identify road signs.

Depending on the type of solution, smart traffic lights may process data on-device or send it to a cloud. This type of solution offers more sophisticated modeling and predictive analysis that can stop congestion in traffic and align public transport schedules. In this way, they can cut the average travel time by 25%, cut signal wait times by 40%, and decrease emissions by 20% according to Carnegie Mellon University.

A smart traffic light system as well as reducing the delays of traffic signals they can also improve pedestrian flow and the flow of micromobility vehicles like e-bikes or e-scooters. This is because they’re typically not able follow traditional traffic signal preemption rules. In London for instance, e-scooter crashes increased 2800% during the first quarter of 2021, so it is important to incorporate them into traffic light controls.