The internet has revolutionized the way we obtain and process information. Most of this change has been happening in the virtual world, online. With the advent of Internet 2.0, the interaction between users and the internet is now deeper and more comprehensive than earlier.
The exponential use of social media and other user-created content is changing the way we interact with one another in the online world. However, thus far the physical world around us has been impervious to the internet. But this is set to change with new Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
IoT refers to the extension of internet connectivity to everyday objects around us so that they generate useful data as they work. This data can be mined later to detect useful patterns that can help increase efficiency. Traffic management is one field in which IoT can help to reduce accidents and improve traffic flows.
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Traffic signal management
Traditional traffic signals are designed to flash lights according to pre-set criteria. But smart traffic signal lights of the future would be fitted with sensors to detect traffic and pedestrian movement. By using algorithms, the traffic lights would change as per the movements in its surroundings. This information could also be wirelessly transmitted to a central coordination centre for traffic controllers to modify the traffic light patterns.
Sensors for safety
Bluetooth beacon technology could help drivers detect information about their surroundings and other vehicles. These beacons could be mounted on traffic lights, road signs and other infrastructure found near roads. Short range radios fitted into vehicles are also another method by which smart sensors could detect if cars or other vehicles were getting dangerously close to other cars or the footpath or other pedestrian-only areas.
On the Radar
It might not always be practical to set up sensors across vast roadway networks to reduce accidents and improve safety. In such scenarios, older technology like radar could be combined innovatively with the latest IoT technology to improve traffic management and safety. Cars could utilize radar even in remote and climatically inhospitable settings to detect nearby cars. This information could be transmitted to a central network for analysis using an IoT application.
IoT presents an exciting new era in which traffic is managed better and accidents reduced. Traffic management is better achieved through new and imaginative solutions for traffic management across diverse settings.