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Sensors to be installed at traffic signals in Thane to ease congestion, make travel smooth

Thane Municipal Corporation inks pact with Google to implement Rs2.83-crore traffic management system

mumbai Updated: Mar 29, 2018 11:45 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,google maps
The traffic management system synchronized with google maps will aim to ease congestion, like this traffic snarl at Teen Haath Naka in Thane. (Praful Gangurde/ HT)

Ever wondered how traffic signals could ease traffic congestion in the city?

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) will soon synchronise the signal systems at prime junctions in the city with Google Maps sensors to intelligently manage traffic depending on the density of congestion.

With increasing urbanisation in Thane in the past decade, the traffic situation in the city has worsened, especially during peak hours.

In order to ease congestion, the municipal corporation has decided to implement a Rs2.82-crore Adaptive Traffic Management System that uses satellite sensors.

This concept was put forth in a discussion with the University of New South Wales, Australia. A TMC official said, “As per the institute, the real time crowd-sourced data at the junctions will be available through Google Map. Based on the data, the signal system at the junction can be managed.”

The university has signed a contract with the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway, Government of India.

“The signals in the city will be fitted with specific sensors. The traffic density, speed and time taken at each signal will be studied and entered in Google Maps,” said the civic official.

Based on the crowd-sourced data, the system will do an intelligent analysis of signal timings. In case the traffic density at a particular signal is high while that of the next signal is low, the timing of both the signals can be managed accordingly to ease the congestion at both the points.

“We have signed an agreement with Google on using the data mapped on its satellite imagery. Google is also planning to implement such a project for the first time and has chosen Thane from India for its pilot project,” said civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal while presenting the budget estimate last week.

Presently, the signals in the city operate in a relay as per predetermined timings, which have no connection with the density of traffic.

This leads to unnecessary delay even when there is a line of vehicles at the signal as the halt time does not change.

The new system will help change the timings of the signal as per the traffic density at given time on a real-time basis.

The Australian university has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Google and the TMC and is now planning to sign an MoU with this university to implement the project.

The data collected can also be used to implement other traffic management initiatives in the city in future.

It can also help to choose the best-suited traffic management system for a particular area.


SATIS: The TMC conducted a study of existing road networks, population and vehicular population in the city.

“We realised that the traffic is heavily concentrated at few prime junctions, such as, Eastern Express Highway, Ghodbunder Road and Thane station area, which leads to traffic congestion in the entire city,” said the civic official.

“To ease the congestion we have come up with long term solutions as Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS) on the east and west side of the station platforms, grade separators and increasing the road network in the city,” he added.

Traffic simulation survey: The TMC also conducted a traffic simulation survey three years ago at three major junctions – Teen Hath Naka, Nitin Company junction and Cadbury junction.

In the traffic simulation model, when the traffic data of a particular area is uploaded, the system gives solution to manage and monitor traffic in that area. The video data of any particular area, day and time can be fed in this base model to create a design of traffic management for that particular area.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 00:53 IST