Nairobi to release smart traffic control system in two years
Nairobi’s Sh1.88bn smart traffic control system, designed to ease congestion on key city roads, is said to go live in just over two years.
The majority of the funding for the proposed plan was supplied by the World Traffic Bank Group, who funded 80% of the investment.
The design of The Nairobi Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) project was inspired by the management of traffic flow in the UK.
The system will use traffic control technologies such as intelligent traffic lights, road markings, and signage installed at 100 of the estimated 400 intersections during the first phase.
Also installed into the ITS is a component on enforcement measures such as violation of traffic lights and speed limit.
ITS will use cameras at road junctions to capture oncoming traffic through digital number plates embedded with microchips and the feed the information into an Integrated Traffic Management Centre (TMC) in real time.
The TMC will accommodate engineers, system specialists, and traffic police officers to monitor data and respond to any issues, allowing more time to be remotely allocated to congested roads, aiding the removal of traffic police officers from such congestion.
The project has been implemented by The Kenyan Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Nairobi City County, National Transport and Safety Authority, and the Transport Ministry.
“This system is different in that two junctions can talk to each other because this has taken a network approach. One junction can even block traffic depending on what is happening on the other junction controlled from a traffic management centre,” said Silas Kinoti, Acting Director-General of KURA.
“The information will be relayed directly from the cameras to traffic control centre and the system itself has its own artificial intelligence.”