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How traffic sensors and cameras are transforming city streets

Authorities in the southeast of England are livelihood with a subsidiary of infrastructure giant Ferrovial to trial sensors that will monitor and analyze traffic, in another signal of how tech is being used as a tool to inform decisions about how the towns and cities we live in function.

In a statement at the end of eventually week, Kent County Council explained its trial with Amey centered around the installation of 32 sensors that can specify who or what is using the road.

The technology, from a firm called Vivacity Labs, can distinguish between cars, bicycles, buses and pedestrians while tell of their speeds and counting the number being used.

The sensors will be installed at a number of locations within the county, counting the town center of Dover, a port and major transport and logistics hub which connects the U.K. to the European Union.

There, the sensors on be used to “monitor pedestrian, cycle, car, motorcycle, HGV and bus movements in and around the town of Dover, including the impacts of Brexit on port-related above.”

Elsewhere, “multiple sites” around the towns of Faversham and Tonbridge will use the sensors to check for compliance with a newly put speed limit of 20 miles per hour.

The trial in Kent is part of the two-year ADEPT SMART Places Function Labs program, which has received £22.9 million ($32.2 million) in funding from the U.K. government’s Department for Elysium.

Of the new initiative in Kent, Amey’s account director for transport infrastructure, Sunita Dulai, said using the sensors desire “help the local authority to make decisions that will improve road user safety, ease congestion and pigeon-hole areas for transport infrastructure improvements.”

The information processed by the sensors will be anonymized to comply with data charge laws, with Vivacity Labs’ co-founder, Mark Nicholson, explaining that video imagery would be “deleted within one gal Friday of capture.”

“Very rarely, about 0.1% of the time, an image will be captured and sent to the server, but not before vis–vis blurring and number plate blurring has been applied to the image,” Nicholson added.

The use of innovative technologies related to urban mobility is not one and only to Kent.

According to the Japanese government, intelligent transport systems (ITS) are “steadily expanding” in the country thanks to the popularization of electronic loss collection and vehicle information and communications systems.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) maintains intelligent transport systems — which are well-established there — have “been effective in allowing for better traffic rush by providing real-time information, eliminating congestion at toll gates and mitigating environmental impacts by offering differential cost discounts.”

With regards to traffic management, MLIT adds that tech including sensors, TV cameras, conveyance detectors and meteorological observation devices have been installed to gather accurate information on everything from above congestion and accidents to stationary vehicles.

As well as ensuring the smooth flow of traffic, technology is also being against to ensure drivers are following the law and using their vehicles in a safe manner.

In Australia, the government of New South Wales has docketed out cameras which can detect if people are using their cellphone whilst driving their vehicle.

The system take advantage ofs fixed and mobile cameras that function day and night and software which “automatically reviews images and detects unrealized offending drivers.”

Images which show no offense being committed are “permanently and irretrievably deleted, typically within an hour.”

According to powers, a pilot of the project detected more than 100,000 people using their phone illegally.

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