The capital of India’s Kerala state, Thiruvananthapuram, is installing the country’s first vehicle-actuated Wireless Traffic Signal Controller (Wi-TraC) at the city’s busy Vellayambalam Junction. The Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) is deploying the new system, which prevents vehicles having to wait at a red light, even if there is no vehicle coming in another direction. KRFB has begun the preliminary works and the system will be commissioned within the next two weeks. The Wi-TraC system has been developed by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), which is the premier R&D organization of India’s Department of Information Technology (DIT), within the country’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT).
The solar-powered Wi-TraC has distinct features over conventional signals. The camera in the system can detect vehicles and its in-built intelligent transport system (ITS) will change signals accordingly. It has many advantages over conventional traffic controllers in terms of its functional features, energy efficiency and size. Since it is small and pole-mountable, it does not occupy any space on the pavement. It is a cost-effective system, since its installation does not require digging, concrete ‘hume’ pipes and armored cables. It also features a GPS-enabled Real-time Clock (RTC) for distributed time-synchronization. The Wi-TraC includes a 32-bit microcontroller-based intelligent road traffic controller with a distributed architecture. It consists of a master controller, which contains the traffic junction plan, and a number of slave units. The master controller takes information from Keltron vehicle detection cameras and then sends wireless communication commands to the slave units on each traffic island or signal pole, in order to switch the signal lamps.
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