Road Congestion: A health and economic threat
Congestion causes economic and environmental damage, and is a major problem in most cities today. Longer journey times, increased stopping and starting, and less reliable travel experience is frustrating for road users. Engines are at their most inefficient in these conditions, releasing more pollutants into the air than traffic travelling at a constant speed.
Congestion holds back economic growth, with uncertain or additional travel time limiting productivity and resulting in late arrivals and overdue deliveries. Reducing congestion will benefit the economy and the environment. It will also make travelling by public transport more efficient and attractive, reducing the number of vehicles on the road. Fewer vehicles on the road makes cycling and walking safer and incentivises active travel modes.
The challenges behind congestion reducing initiatives
Reducing congestion is a problem that has many factors. Increasing expansion of cities, a lack of or expensive public transport and a shortage of adequate car parking infrastructure resulting in on-road parking, combine to overwhelm the road network beyond its initial capacity. This means counteracting inefficient and wasteful ways of travelling and reimagining existing infrastructure for better sustainability.
Local authorities need accurate road-use data to validate the implementation of congestion reduction measures. Baseline data enables realistic objectives to be set and long-term monitoring data provides solid evidence of success. Traditional traffic monitoring tools cannot provide this cost-effectively and at the level of detail required.
Monitoring and reporting at your fingertips
VivaCity’s AI computer vision technology gathers accurate, anonymous and detailed, 24/7 real-time data on 9 road user classes. Classified counts, zonal speeds and journey times aggregate to form a clear picture of how congestion forms and its impact for different road users. Data enables patterns to be identified in relation to times of the day, month, or year, or in response to weather conditions and incidents.
Features that support congestion reduction schemes:
- Classified Counts – Differentiate between transport modes and ascertain their volumes throughout the day to inform targeted traffic improvement initiatives
- Zonal Speed – Average speed data across an allocated area to identify problem areas where congestion is occurring
- Journey Times – How long it takes for a road user to travel from point A to B (where there is a VivaCity sensor)
Congestion can also be reduced by integrating VivaCity sensor data into existing urban traffic control systems – read more about this below. This application of sensor data has demonstrated a reduction in average journey times of 23% across key routes in Manchester. You can download our award winning paper on Smart Junctions technology below.
Data from our traffic monitoring solution supports congestion reduction schemes in a range of ways:
- Baseline data – Receive a clear picture of how congestion affects different users, identify patterns, set predetermined goals and measure post-implementation impact against these
- Long-term and real-time data – Access historic and real-time data to identify trends and assess changes in congestion, traffic volumes and journey speeds
- Multi-modal signal prioritisation – Optimise signalling for more efficient networks that are safer for cyclists and pedestrians, regulate public transport, reduce congestion and improve air quality
- Comprehensive quantitative data to support funding applications – Demonstrate your ability to monitor and evaluate scheme performance effectively
- Data backed decisions and evidenced results – Communicate the reasons for and impact of congestion reduction schemes to local communities and stakeholders with credibility and clarity
Keeping citizens’ data secure and private.
Our vision is to provide citizen-centric Smart Cities that make our environments more interconnected, greener and safer. Keeping citizens’ data safe and private is critical to the success of our technology, and our privacy-by-design principles is at the heart of how we do things.