Cities are using smart traffic technology to reduce energy waste and improve road safety, as traffic congestion in urban areas is becoming a growing issue. This helps motorists and passengers save time, cuts emissions, and reduces traffic jams.

The technology behind it is based on hardware and software. The first is the subcomponent that executes, while the second is the command and control centre. Both are enhanced by advanced sensors and processing technologies tools, for instance ANPR (automotive plate recognition) which collects data about vehicles’ movements and is able to detect road signs.

Depending on the software employed, data can be processed on the device by smart traffic lights or transferred to cloud. This type of solution allows for more advanced analysis and modeling to reduce traffic congestion and coordinate the schedules of public transportation. According to Carnegie Mellon University, this can reduce average travel time by 25 percent, and wait times for signals are reduced by 40% and emissions are reduced by 20%.

A well-designed traffic light system in addition to reducing the delays of traffic signals, can also improve pedestrian flow and the flow of micromobility vehicles, such as e-bikes or electric scooters. They are unable to adhere to the traditional traffic law regarding preemption of signals. In London, e-scooter accidents increased by 2,800% during the first half of 2021. Therefore, it is important to include them in traffic light controls.