As congestion in urban areas becomes a major issue cities are turning to smart technologies for traffic to increase the safety of roads and cut down on wasted energy. This helps to save time for both drivers and passengers and lowers emissions. It also helps reduce traffic congestion.

The technology behind this is based on two main elements: Hardware and software. The first is the subcomponent that executes, while the second is the command and control center. Both are enhanced by advanced sensors and processing techniques tools, for instance ANPR (automotive plate recognition) which records data about the movement of vehicles and detects road signs.

Depending on the solution, smart traffic lights can either process data on-device or send it to a cloud-based location. This allows for more sophisticated modeling and analysis to reduce traffic congestion and harmonize the schedules of public transport. This way, they can cut average travel times by 25%, reduce the time between signals by 40%, and reduce emissions by 20%, according to Carnegie Mellon University.

In addition to the reduction of the time it takes to control traffic signals A smart traffic light system could also enhance the flow of pedestrians as well as micromobility vehicles, such as electric scooters and ebikes. This is because they are often unable to follow traditional traffic signal preemption rules. In London, for example crashes on e-scooters jumped by 2800% in the initial half of 2021. therefore it is vital to incorporate them into traffic light control.