Cities around the world are experiencing increasingly complex, chaotic traffic issues. Roads are choked with congestion, with alternate routes getting busier due to traffic optimisation apps like Waze. And the influx of ridesharing services are only adding to the problem, new research suggests.

In major cities, there is limited space left to add new roads – and that’s on top of much disagreement about how to improve traffic with both infrastructure additions and better public transportation. In other words, we cannot build our way out of the traffic crisis nor can plans be made in a timely enough fashion to address these problems. The solution is not a bigger transportation system, but a smarter one.

Smart solutions for complex traffic issues

Busy highways to and from downtown areas can prove challenging for both drivers and traffic management operators. A high volume of traffic congestion during a daily commute benefits no one. For instance, in major cities like Washington D.C., the average commuter spends two full work weeks stuck in traffic, at the cost of $1834 per commuter annually. The estimated cost of the 42 hours per year the average person wastes in idle traffic in the US is $160 billion, or $960 per person.

Congestion at a bridge or tunnel can have a cascading effect on traffic delays, possibly even leading to gridlock traffic. What’s more, prolonged congestion can also drastically increase pollution from idle vehicle emissions, which is linked to higher medical costs and even death in vulnerable populations. For the average driver, every tank of petrol burned costs $18,42 in hidden health and climate costs, while pollution from passenger vehicles is attributed to 109 000 asthma exacerbations annually, according to an American Lung Association study.

Densely populated cities around the world all share one thing in common, which is that they have a large population moving about the city in every manner of vehicle: cars, buses, trains, motorcycles and bicycles. Safety is an important factor, as nearly half of the fatal injuries on the world’s roads are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, according to the World Health Organization.

With Pelco’s Traffic Management solutions, operators have not only reliable cameras, but also powerful analytics that keep track of how many pedestrians cross a particular intersection, as well as the time of day. Such information is useful in formulating traffic light timing algorithms to ensure the safety of foot traffic.

Pelco’s traffic management solutions empower cities to move people and vehicles more quickly and more safely than ever before. It offers smart technology that makes roads more efficient and makes people traveling on them happier, healthier, and safer. Pelco works with traffic officials to ensure the needs of a city are met with a comprehensive traffic management solution that protects both drivers and pedestrians.

The scalability and flexibility of Pelco’s traffic monitoring solutions allow officials to add cameras, integrate with third-party systems, share video across organisations, and extend analytic capabilities (ANPR, facial recognition, crowd analysis, etc.) as the city grows.

A more chaotic traffic system is inevitable and not a choice you can make. How you monitor and manage that traffic is, however.