Bhopal: AI-Powered Traffic Signals Are Not Smart Enough To Ease Vehicular Flow

Bhopal: AI-Powered Traffic Signals Are Not Smart Enough To Ease Vehicular Flow

Bhopal reels under traffic gridlocks, mismanagement

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 12:24 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Even as the city traffic signals are equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect heavy vehicular load on the roads, not much difference has been made in easing the traffic flow as most of them have been malfunctioning lately. The city continues to witness traffic gridlocks and smooth traffic management remains a myth. And it is the commuters who are at the receiving end.

The traffic signal issue has been long-standing in several areas of the state capital, like Chunabhatti square, Nanke petrol pump square, Prabhat square and Habibganj square, to name a few. The traffic signals are encountering all types of snags like sometimes it stops functioning at all and goes blank. The AI-powered smart traffic signal controls the signals in real-time based on traffic conditions. If there is heavy traffic on a particular route, the green light will take longer to clear the congestion. Despite the Bhopal traffic police’s claims of the traffic signals powered with AI technology, the green light at the traffic signals does not change automatically to ensure smooth flow of traffic. 

However, at the road intersections in the area mentioned above, the green light remains there only for 15 seconds irrespective of the traffic load on the road. The brief 15-second duration of green signals results in commuters waiting through 3-4 cycles to cross the square. The issue exacerbates during the peak traffic hours in the morning and the evening times. When the issue was put up before the Bhopal traffic police officials, Free Press was told that the functioning of the traffic signals is the responsibility of the Bhopal Smart city officials. The smart city officials’ in turn said their work is limited to installing the signals and lacing them with AI technology. They even claimed that traffic cops of the city tamper with the traffic signals primarily during VIP movement, and then fail to amend it, leaving the commuters in a limbo.

Issue is resolved often within an hour: Smart City PRO

Public relations officer (PRO) of Bhopal smart city, Nitin Dave, commented on the issue, stating, “The smart city installs the traffic signals, and then hands over the responsibility of operating them to the traffic police...Whenever traffic lights malfunction in any part of the city, the issue is resolved by them within an hour.”

Traffic signals’ issue not in the purview of traffic police: SHO (Traffic)

When the Bhopal traffic police station house officer (SHO) Sanjay Suryawanshi was contacted, he said the traffic signals’ issue does not lie in the purview of the traffic police. Their upkeep is monitored by Bhopal smart city officials only. 

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