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Ancient Chinese city deploys intelligent traffic infrastructure to address congestion issues

Xi’an, an ancient city in China, has implemented an intelligent traffic management system to better the lives of its residents.

This has been done in an effort to reduce commute times and improve traffic flow in a more efficient manner as its border of ancient walls has restricted the city’s movement, namely during peak traffic hours.

The city has experienced some serious congestion over the years. In fact, vehicles are only really allowed to enter and leave the city via the city’s gates. Considering the fact that the city is home to some three million vehicles, the amount of commuters on a daily basis and the limited amount of entrances into the city has long caused some serious congestion.

The tackle this issue, the city’s Urban Traffic Administration liaised with Hikvision, the video surveillance equipment manufacturer. Xi’an’s traffic police worked alongside Hikvision, internet providers and town planning experts –among others- to create and deploy an intelligent traffic management system.

Lihu Ma, project manager at Hikvision, stated, “Xi’an’s city walls make it impossible to increase the size of the urban area so it was only through technology that we could allow the modern city to grow and develop.”

“A core part of the Hikvision solution involves our AI-powered video technology,” he added.

Intelligent signal control

The city’s traffic management team has employed congestion management practices. The main method that they have been utilizing is the optimization of signal timing. This is achieved through the use of video cameras and augmented reality tech which inherently analyze traffic flow data and time the signals based on these findings.

When this was still in the testing phase, city authorities found that intelligent signal control had improved traffic by 10% and that commute times were reduced by approximately 12%.

Traffic violation monitoring

Hikvision’s checkpoint capture cameras were installed by Xi’an’s traffic police along with intersection violation capture units to better monitor and detect illegal vehicle behavior.

Data analytics for command and control

Smart city infrastructure usually involves the collection of data to understand the city’s various patterns to enhance efficiency. In this situation, all data is aggregated and is then displayed in the command and control center.

This is particularly useful in a situation which requires a police officer at the scene of an incident as the system considers the location and distribution of traffic police officers across the city and selects the one closest to the area of the incident. They would receive an automated message to go to the scene immediately.

With the system’s advanced machine learning capabilities, they now have the ability to gain greater insight into congestion patterns and identify problems before they occur.