Bavarian Pilot Project Introduces Smart ‘Traffic Light of the Future’

The city of Essenbach in Bavaria, Germany was chosen by the Bavarian Ministry of Transport to conduct a pilot project testing  the “traffic light of the future.” Though it appears like any other traffic signal, this smart traffic light can react to its surroundings. Facilitating the smooth flow of traffic, and increasing the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

The Ministry of Transport states that the new traffic lights will provide additional road safety and solutions for common traffic problems, such as: giving priority to emergency vehicles while also stopping traffic from other directions; showing cyclists when and for how long it will turn green in a bid to reduce collisions; and employing turning signals to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic.

The intersection being used as the test site was chosen because “there is a fire station in the immediate vicinity for blue light prioritization, a cycle path runs over a traffic light and the visibility into the side streets enables the testing of intelligent turning assistants and collision warning systems,” according to the Bavarian Ministry of Transport.

Yunex is the manufacturer of the smart traffic light, which uses its Yutraffic Stream software – a satellite-based, intelligent system that automatically triggers a “green wave” for public transport, emergency vehicles and bikes. It also incorporates awareAI –  an AI-controlled detection system that allows pedestrians to automatically request and extend the walk phase, when needed. This increases safety when crossing the street, especially for larger groups, students, people in wheelchairs, and older people.

The findings from the pilot project will be used to equip and upgrade additional traffic light systems in Bavaria with the smart technology. The cost of the smart traffic light is approximately 100,000 euros.