A trial of a "smart" traffic light system is finally about to start in the UK, and about time too, seeing as pretty much everyone who's ever driven or ridden through a town has already had the idea of adapting the signals on the fly to better meet traffic demand.
The trial will take place in Milton Keynes, where a new network of 2,500 cameras will scan traffic and, somehow through the magic of computers, attempt to adjust traffic lights live in order to keep the flow of traffic high, using if/thens like perhaps skipping a right-hand turn phase at a junction if it sees there's no one waiting to turn.
This might, you will either be happy or furious to learn, involve giving priority to cyclists and buses caught up in snarls of angry delivery van drivers, with trial operator Vivacity Labs explaining: "The AI camera accurately identifies and reports road usage, removing the need for cumbersome manual interpretation and significantly reducing the potential for human error."
An earlier phase of green just for cyclists is possible, plus it might be allowed to alter digital road signs to direct traffic away from the trundling, angry masses. The system is to be installed this September, ahead of a dry run of data-gathering and machine learning, followed by a live launch some time in 2018. [Telegraph]
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