Sunday, May 23, 2010

I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night and something I saw these days triggered me to get up and write this article.

The Governorate of Sixth of October City and the Traffic Department recently started to install traffic light systems in many locations, these locations are:

  • A pedestrian light traffic in front of Hyper One and in front of MUST University.
  • A Cross Road Traffic light at Guhyna Roundabout, Housry Roundabout and Magda Roundabout.

These systems are installed with a primitive designs and not according to the latest technologies not mentioning the poor quality and bad alignment of the poles.

Note:(see the picture and the relative between the vertical alignment of the Mosque Maazana and the Pole)


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I think what they thought is we need to put a traffic light here so let's buy a traffic light with a countdown timer (WOW) and this will solve the problems.


Let's study the pedestrian traffic lights at Hyper one and MUST University:


1- The traffic light was installed only in the Main road and should also be installed in the service roads.


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2- The Traffic light should have included a request for cross button at the pole where pedestrian will press if they require to cross the road, pressing this button will close the light to vehicles and open it to pedestrians after some delay from pressing, first it will give a yellow light to vehicles and then stop light and enough time for pedestrian to cross it will also take into considerations when was the last time it was closed to vehicles to allow good flow of vehicles without repeated interruptions from Pedestrians, not using this feature will mean that the traffic light will turn into red and green based on time intervals, pedestrians may not be available to cross at this time and drivers may get bored specially at early morning and late hours, they will break the light specially with no red light cameras available, this will lead to not respecting the traffic light in normal hours as well by the drivers. The request to cross is a method used all over the world to organize pedestrian crossing, it sometimes also included with a high volume beeping speakers to help blind people to realize the crossing time and location.


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As for the Roundabout lights, the design is unprofessional at all, the roundabout design is used when the flow is low or the roundabout is big enough to absorb the volume of vehicles with respecting the roundabout rules which is the priority is always for the vehicle already inside the roundabout and vehicles entering to the roundabout should wait until the roundabout is clear to enter without forcing the vehicles inside to press brakes.


Since these roundabouts receives high volumes during the day the design should automatically go to using traffic lights, but due to the size of these roundabout my opinion is to remove the roundabout totally and use it as a normal cross road design shown below in the picture.


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This design is more useful with traffic lights and allows faster flows instead of going through the roundabout.


In most of the countries right now they are applying what is called the Intelligent traffic light system, using loop sensors, which is sensor in the ground that sense there is a vehicle above it, can give us a lot of information to organize and predict traffic flows.


For example: why to open the traffic lights on time based while there is always one side has lower traffic, sensing the cars presence will allow me to open the light for sides that have more volumes until cars arrive at the other side's then the sensors will tell the system there are group of cars waiting to cross, the system then will give them their fare time to cross.


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Using these sensors also detects wrong direction and it can give a signal to cameras to snapshoot the plate license, where intelligent Digital Signal Processing can read the plate and send the violation to traffic departments, using wireless technology.


Also using the sensor the system can know if someone has violated the red light by using two sensors one before the white line and one after. If car crossed the one after the white line when the signal is red then he violated the traffic light and signal is sent to the traffic cameras.


Speed violation can also be determined and snapped using the sensors when using two sensors with a known distance between them the system can know the car speed hence the system can snap the violation.


Loop sensors has many features it can calculate the vehicle crossing then predicting the time limit for each traffic light and so on, these information also can be used for statistics on road flows for roads designs.


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I know that may be the budget was a problem to apply these traffic lights, but a little more effort could make it better.


The Intelligent traffic Light System is a great invention and our country need it so Flair Systems is announcing sponsoring a graduation project next year for any group of students deciding to use it as their graduation project to build an Egyptian product with low cost, that will help our traffic system to be better.


Technology and society By:
Abdalla Shebl
Managing Director



1 comments:

Flair Blog said...

People in USA with small Scooters trick the intelligent traffic light system to get

through.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GAacxGiV4A

( How to get green traffic lights using science! Save Gas, Time & Frustration! Works great! See the Test Results )