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Florence traffic is about to get smarter

Florence traffic is about to get smarter

A first step towards active interaction between urban transport and its surroundings

Two technological innovations were introduced earlier this week on the streets of Florence: one concerns the installation of artificial intelligence sensors in city trams and stops and the other the ‘smartification’ of traffic lights on major intersections. Both are thought out with the idea of vastly improving safety in terms of traffic in the Italian city, as well as a greater interactivity between mobility technology and its surroundings.

The tram intervention is still in the experimental, data-collecting phase

The first of these smart projects regarding the transformation of the traffic network in Florence is led and coordinated by the ELASTIC project – an EU funded consortium consisting of various stakeholders in the tech adaptation field.

Busy urban spaces are in need of innovative transport solutions and smart city applications. Forging ahead with the ELASTIC project, a high-end sensor-equipped system has been incorporated in the tram vehicles and soon at the tram stops of Florence collecting and aggregating significant figures of the performance of the transportation network,” explained Eduardo Quiñones, senior researcher at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and coordinator of ELASTIC, in a press release. “This lays the basis for our next step: that of an active interaction between the vehicles and the city”.  

It remains to be seen if in the near future city trams will be able to recognize and differentiate people from vehicles and react accordingly.

Meanwhile, the municipal website of the Italian city also reported on the approval of an intervention, which will see the installation of smart traffic lights which will be able to detect infringements at the intersections where they will be located. The project, which will cost 120 000 euros, will consist of an AI system which with the aid of high-definition cameras will observe the vehicles and sense if there is improper driving behaviour.

Examples of such behaviour would be driving through a red light, wrong turn, speeding, wrongful lane changing and travelling between two lanes.

We care about the issue of road safety on which we have carried out battles at the regulatory level and important awareness campaigns. With this in mind, I presented a project to implement a new technologically advanced system for detecting traffic light infringements that will help improve the safety of our roads,” commented Titta Meucci, Councillor for Public Works. 

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