The authorities in the south-east of England are working with a subsidiary of the infrastructure giant Ferrovial to test sensors that monitor and analyze traffic. This is yet another sign of how technology is being used as a tool to make decisions about how the cities we live in work.
In a statement late last week, Kent County Council explained its trial with Amey of installing 32 sensors that can be used to determine who or what is using the road.
Technology from a company called Vivacity Labs can differentiate between cars, bicycles, buses and pedestrians while recording their speed and counting the number used.
The sensors will be installed in various locations across the county, including Dover city center, a port and a key transportation and logistics hub that connects the UK with the European Union.
There the sensors will be used to “monitor pedestrian, bicycle, car, motorcycle, truck and bus movements in and around the city of Dover, including the impact of Brexit on port traffic”.
Elsewhere, “multiple locations” in the towns of Faversham and Tonbridge will use the sensors to check compliance with a newly introduced speed limit of 20 miles per hour.
The Kent study is part of the two-year ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs program, funded by the UK Government’s Department of Transportation for £ 22.9 million (US $ 32.2 million).
Of the new initiative in Kent, Sunita Dulai, Amey’s Account Director, Transportation Infrastructure, said that using the sensors “would help the local authority make decisions that improve road safety, reduce congestion and identify areas for transportation infrastructure improvement “.
The information processed by the sensors is anonymized in order to comply with data protection laws. Mark Nicholson, co-founder of Vivacity Labs, explains that video images are “deleted within a second of being captured”.
“Very rarely, about 0.1% of the time, is an image captured and sent to the server, but not until the image is face and license plate blurred,” added Nicholson.
The use of innovative technologies in connection with urban mobility is not only possible in Kent.
According to the Japanese government, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are “steadily” expanding in the country thanks to the proliferation of electronic toll collection and vehicle information and communication systems.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT), intelligent transportation systems that are well established there have “enabled better traffic flow by providing real-time information, clearing toll booths and reducing the environment.” Effects from differentiated toll discounts. “
Regarding traffic management, MLIT adds that technologies like sensors, television cameras, vehicle detectors and meteorological observation devices have been installed to collect accurate information on everything from traffic jams and accidents to stationary vehicles.
In addition to keeping traffic flowing smoothly, technology is also used to ensure drivers comply with the law and use their vehicles safely.
In Australia, the New South Wales government has introduced cameras that can be used to determine if people are using their cell phones while driving their vehicle.
The system uses fixed and mobile cameras that work day and night, and software that “automatically checks images and recognizes potential drivers”.
Non-criminal offense images are “permanently and irretrievably deleted, typically within an hour”.
According to authorities, a pilot on the project discovered more than 100,000 people using their phones illegally.