Copenhagen to install smart traffic lights

The Danish capital city will spend 60 million kroner (£6.2m) to implement intelligent transport systems (ITS), including smart traffic lights that prioritise buses and bicycles.

The new systems in Copenhagen will control traffic digitally and adapt to weather and real-time traffic conditions, according to English-language news provider The Local.

Anonymous information from people’s smartphones will be relayed to wireless sensors along the city’s streets, allowing traffic lights to adapt to the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists using the roads at any given time. Meanwhile, buses will communicate their position, number of passengers, and any delays to the traffic signals and will be given longer green lights when they are behind schedule or full of passengers.

The traffic signals will also help clear mass crowds after events like football matches and concerts.

Copenhagen will become the first large city in Scandinavia to install intelligent traffic lights at all intersections, reported. The city’s 380 new traffic signals are expected to reduce bus journey times by 5-20% and cycling times by 10%.

Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s mayor of technical and environmental affairs, said: “These systems will ensure traffic that flows better so that as many people as possible can save time in the greenest possible way. It means that Copenhageners won’t waste time on their way to and from work and that is good business. Copenhagen will be a laboratory where we develop new solutions.”

A pilot installation of ITS in Valby, a district of Copenhagen, showed that the technology cut bus travel times by as much as 30% on some routes.

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