With the number of private vehicles continuing to rise in most cities and governments eager to implement concepts such as smart cities to improve operational efficiency, the idea of smart traffic management is rapidly gaining traction. Authorities in several cities are concerned about traffic congestion and traffic avoidance, among other things. Intelligent traffic management solutions are expected to provide an answer to all that.
According to the research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global traffic management market is expected to grow to US$ 59.5 billion by 2022 from $23 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 21 percent. The factors driving this growth include hyper urbanization, especially in developing economies, and a high demographic growth. Smart city initiatives are also expected to boost the growth of the market.
Current trends being seen
Industry experts are quick to point out that safety is a major concern on the roads, not just due to accidents but also due to violence in the form of attacks against people traveling in vehicles. While security is probably the major driving factor in this industry, the potential benefits that go beyond offering protection have been becoming popular as of late.
“In alignment with the growing popularity of smart cities and intelligent technology, users are looking to simplify and prioritize traffic management,” said Steve Birkmeier, VP of Sales and Business Development at Arteco
. “The primary goal of achieving uniform safety for people and assets still exists, especially as we’re witnessing more violence and attacks by vehicles, but the advancements in analytics and big data have driven users to desire in-depth and detailed data that can be used for more than just security.”
Birkmeier added that his company is seeing license plate recognition (LPR) technology become a large component of traffic management, as there are many areas in which it can be applied: access control, crime prevention and control of territory, employee time/attendance monitoring, etc. Stakeholders are seeing a reduction in total cost of ownership and increased return on investment (ROI) by choosing to invest in a solution that enhances intelligence, management and flexibility. Speaking on a similar note, Akif Ekin, President of the safe cities solution provider Ekin
, pointed out that the Consumer Technology Association projects global spending on smart cities will reach $34.4 billion by 2020, as more cities seek proactive solutions to longstanding issues, such as traffic.
“Traffic management is a central component to smart city development and the technology that supports it will continue to dominate the future of the industry,” Ekin said. “Law enforcement agencies tasked with managing traffic flow and safety are seeking more proactive solutions that prevent traffic issues before they happen.” For example, LPR reduces the time and headache of identifying violators who disrupt the flow of traffic, Ekin added. When this technology is coupled with solutions that offer mobility and citywide connectivity, law enforcement has the ability to not only detect a violation but also can quickly and effectively act upon their findings to reduce the likelihood of violations.
What’s the technology like
According to Birkmeier, a state-of-the-art smart traffic solution often contains a web-based software system, LPR technology and surveillance cameras. LPR technology is becomingly increasingly dominant in the smart traffic field, as its latest developments contribute to a wide range of advantages for the user.
“For example, when used in conjunction with a traffic management system, LPR enables users to view real-time statistics about the types of passing vehicles, connect to the records of the authorities to seek and obtain data on vehicles without insurance coverage, or analyze traffic flows,” he said. “With high-quality surveillance cameras, sharp, clear images can be recorded, analyzed and registered if necessary.”
Ekin agreed, suggesting LPR and speed detection dominate the field when it comes to smart traffic solutions. By easily identifying traffic violators, law enforcement can bring them to justice and carry out fines with greater ease, while also creating a greater deterrent to keep individuals from perpetrating a traffic violation in the first place.
“Cities often have different needs to fill with their smart traffic management solution and finding a solution that is customizable to a city’s specific needs is necessary to ensure traffic laws are enforced to the fullest,” he said. “For example, we provide customers with customized solutions and then help to install and train employees to ensure they are receiving the maximum benefit from their smart technology. Central management is the rising trend in smart traffic management which will turn out to be a must soon.”