Mumbai’s recently implemented Adaptive Traffic Control (ATC) system, which won the award for the ‘Best ITS 2011 Project’ from the Union Ministry of Urban Development, has reduced waiting time at traffic signals by 50 percent and overall travelling time by about 30 percent. The ATC system in Mumbai uses 700 video-based vehicle presence detectors supplied by Belgium-based video detection maker, Traficon. The detectors were installed at different traffic intersections in the city in 2011.
In the ATC systems, the timings of traffic signals at traffic intersections are adjusted in real-time depending upon the number of vehicles at the intersection. The intelligent camera technology from Traficon is based on its TrafiCam and TrafiCam x-stream sensors. The ATC project has eliminated the use of inductive loops which the MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) had tried earlier for traffic detection. Inductive loops, which are embedded in the ground, often failed in monsoon. Their maintenance, which involves digging up of roads is expensive, and causes traffic disruption at intersections.
In contrast, the above-the-ground video based TrafiCam solution provides trouble-free operation for at least ten years, explains Sukhdev Bhogal, Business Development Director at Traficon: “TrafiCam works by using video images to detect vehicles, and it is able to detect and count vehicles in up to eight detection zones. Due to its ability to detect waiting as well as approaching vehicles, traffic signal timings can be optimised and waiting time for vehicles at intersections can be reduced.”
The information about the vehicles detected at the intersection is transmitted to the traffic controller which dynamically adjusts the timing of the signals in real-time, depending upon the number of vehicles. The TrafiCam x-stream is an IP-addressable sensor which gives a streaming MPEG-4 video output and can be used for surveillance at traffic intersections with up to 24 detection zones.
The ATC has also resulted in improved traffic flow which has reduced road deaths by 15 percent, and has also reduced pollution levels. Encouraged by the results, the Mumbai city authorities have installed LEDs in traffic lights which produced a saving of 85% in energy consumption by the traffic light system.
“The TrafiCam video-based vehicle detection technology’s impressive performance under typical Indian traffic conditions with extremely heterogeneous traffic and absence of lane discipline could make it an attractive option for other Indian cities to consider when implementing their own Adaptive Traffic Control Systems,” says Bhogal.