British AI transport company Vivacity Labs has started trialling its traffic signal solution in Cambridge to cut congestion and improve air quality.
As part of a 12-month trial, Vivacity will investigate how camera-based sensors and machine-learning can be used to optimise traffic signals. The system aims to improve traffic flow, cut journey times and help reduce emissions.
Currently, the majority of traffic signals across Cambridge use fixed algorithms to make decisions about the signal operation. Vivacity said its machine-learning technology enables the new signals to learn what works best to manage traffic flows more effectively.
Furthermore, the camera-based AI sensors are said to be more able than existing systems to anonymously identify different types of road users and adjust traffic signal timings accordingly. This, said Vivacity, allows different modes of transport to be prioritised.
The trial also has the potential to improve air quality by reducing emissions from idling vehicles.
Claire Ruskin, chair of the Smart Cambridge Working Group, said: “We know our traffic lights need to be more intelligent and we are finding new technology solutions that can help the way people make their daily journeys.
“These new sensors can monitor different types of road users, and use that data to change traffic flows, potentially helping to cut congestion and improve air quality. We will use the data to inform future projects and interventions.”
The Greater Cambridge Partnership-funded (GCP) project forms part of a wider package of measures to be discussed by the GCP’s executive board later this month.
According to GCP, the report will cover how the partnership can support a green recovery. This will include investments to clean up the bus fleet and improving the bus network, expanding active travel routes as well as developing a new parking strategy for the city.
If the trial proves to be successful, the GCP will consider how further investments in AI traffic signals could be rolled out in the future.