All traffic signals across Hyderabad are set to get dynamic, and will change with real-time traffic data from Google maps. After a two-month trial at two signals in Gachibowli, the city traffic police noticed that commuters spent less time in traffic and so, have decided to implement the system across the city.
Data from Google Maps will be used to decide the timings of signals at important junctions. For example, if there is less traffic coming from Lingampally towards the IIIT junction, the traffic signal would increase the wait time at the signal.
The city traffic police expect the technology to bring down the waiting time at signals by 30% and queue lengths by 50% based on trial results. Google data on traffic issues will also be used by the road engineering departments to develop roads. Although announcements have been made about adopting the technology, officials are tightlipped about the funding needed for the project to take off.
Bengaluru is the only other city in the country to adopt data from Google Maps to manage traffic signals.
Hyderabad's ITMS project in limbo for 3 years
The Hyderabad traffic department’s decision to switch to a dynamic signalling system comes at a time when its implementation of the Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) is marred by delays.
The ITMS is an automatic signal system controlled by a common control centre. The system was to help the city manage its traffic by automating signals, identify water-logging areas through sensors during monsoon, inform commuters about alternate routes and curb traffic violations.
Traffic department officials say the work for the project has been going on from 2017. The cable laying work for the project has not even begun in some parts of the city, say officials from two of the three police commissionerates in the city.
At present, the city’s traffic signals are timed at three minutes, 120 seconds and 90 seconds. The ITMS, using its sensors, would calculate the volume of vehicles passing through a junction and then recommend changes to the signal timings. The dynamic signals using traffic data from Google go a bit further, as it helps make real-time changes to traffic signals depending on the traffic volume.