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Booming cities, increasing traffic and unhealthy air: Cities, politicians, city administrations and urban planners are thinking hard about solutions to these problems. Can traffic monitoring systems help to support urban mobility and effective handling of resources?

Discussions about the Smart City idea are increasingly relevant. And when it comes to applications for it, the sky is the limit. It includes everything from drones that deliver packages to garbage cans with fill level sensors, smart energy grids, and e-government applications for applying for a new ID on a smartphone.

At its core, it's primarily about solutions to very real problems.

World urbanization in 2050

Over the years, cities have become more densely populated and this has been accompanied by a shortage of resources. According to UN estimates, the world's population is set to grow from 7.7 billion now to 9.7 billion in 2050. That’s a 26% increase.

Clean Air

All around the world, people are increasingly living in cities. In 1950, just 30% of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050, the figure is forecast to be around 70%. And these people are consuming more and more resources, including air, within a comparatively small amount of space. That is why it is so important to keep the air we have clean.

We must now identify where there is an increased need for action and how smart ideas can also be used right now, because connecting different technologies and infrastructures really brings Smart City concepts to life. VITRONIC is actively committed to this.

2050: Of 9.7 billion people worldwide, around 70% live in cities

A sustainable traffic management system is needed to improve the quality of life in cities.

Smart City – a wide-ranging concept

The term “Smart City” has been used since the early 2000s to refer to the combination of digital technology and innovations in urban spaces. The idea came about as a response to the economic, social and political challenges facing post-industrial societies such as environmental pollution, demographic transformations, the financial crisis and scarce resources. The “Smart City” idea also includes non-technical innovations that contribute to better, more sustainable urban living.

Terms such as big data, Industry 4.0, and the Internet of Things and their applications point the way to an interconnected and digitized city. Of course, they also impact the concept of mobility within the city and the environment as an important part of quality of life. But one thing is sure. Optimizing the traffic in cities is important and traffic monitoring systems are already pointing the way towards smart mobility.

The infrastructure is there

VITRONIC’s “Smart Traffic Network” combines traffic monitoring technology with intelligent traffic control to provide high quality of life for city dwellers.

Today, fixed, semi-fixed, and mobile systems for speed enforcement are used to ensure drivers observe legal speed limits. These are basically image processing solutions used primarily to ensure better traffic safety and therefore improve the quality of city life. Systems from the POLISCAN product portfolio can do more than measure excessive speeds, define vehicle classes, capture red light violations, and ensure the correct use of lanes. They also gather additional information to help design and manage traffic flow.

Today's mobility concepts are characterized by the automobile and individual traffic.

New concepts must take into account the needs of all road users.

The Vision

All this traffic and environmental data converges in a central location: the Traffic Center. This means vehicles can be rerouted directly before they run into a traffic jam. Another example: In the past, vehicles in traffic were counted manually. A city employee would tally the number of vehicles that passed by on a standardized form, which was later placed in a file. Now this can be done digitally. Data is captured in real time and sent directly to city administration. The data are viewed by a city employee and sent as statistical data to the responsible department.

This means that not only city administration employees can access and analyze the data, but so can other stakeholders, who may for example want to create graphics for online media channels, develop a new mobility app, or optimize delivery routes. Traffic monitoring systems can capture the flow of traffic in different lanes and in both driving directions. All the data would converge at the Traffic Center which controls all the traffic across the city.

Smart Mobility: Where is the journey going?

Huge potential for smart cities: As well as collecting and analyzing traffic data, additional interfaces and sensors create added value that can be achieved quickly and bring even more to the table if they are used in even more scenarios.

More efficient, sustainable and advanced living in the Smart City.


In short

  • Road safety improved through traffic monitoring
  • Anonymized data used for traffic control
  • Connection to other traffic control systems
  • Objective: a sustainable transport management system

An urban mobility concept

Traffic monitoring systems increase road safety: they measure excessive speeds, capture red light violations, and much more. This traffic data is used for traffic control in a general and anonymized form. Existing infrastructure elements can be enhanced and integrated into the system.

The objective is a sustainable traffic management system to improve the quality of life in cities.

About the Author

Jana Bender

Jana Bender

Junior Brand Managerin Traffic Technology
My name is Jana Bender. I work as Brand Manager Traffic Technology at the VITRONIC Headquarters in Wiesbaden. I’m passionate about new technologies that can be used to solve the traffic problems of tomorrow.

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Intelligent Data Capture with the Existing Traffic Infrastructure

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