Cisco has invested $1 million in what it calls ‘Smart City’ technology for Adelaide to help reduce traffic congestion and create the foundations for the deployment of autonomous vehicles on busy roads.

The recent pilot it ran in partnership with the government of South Australia and the City of Adelaide measured the dwell time and queue length of vehicles as they wait at an intersection; a key element for congestion monitoring.

It also calculated rolling averages across the day via a customised dashboard and a suite of metrics that show how well the traffic light sequences are operating at that intersection.

Built on an Internet of Things operations platform designed to unlock the power of data from billions of connected devices, the pilot was split into two phases. In the first phase, six sensors were set up at a number of busy intersections.

These sensors gathered intersection-approach traffic information, such as location and speed of vehicles as well as pedestrians. With this information, tailored algorithms to recommend traffic light intervals can be recommended to improve traffic and pedestrian-crossing flow.

The second phase involved an assessment of whether the same infrastructure can be applied to quickly and accurately determine the location and movements of autonomous vehicles, which is critical to being able to manage, direct and control autonomous vehicles.

Following the trial, which was run between 29 January and 3 February 2018, other intersections in Adelaide will be selected to test and scale the solution city-wide, which will then be followed by a national roll-out.

Kevin Bloch, chief technology officer, Cisco Australia & New Zealand says, “We’re very excited to partner with the City of Adelaide and the SA Government and analyse the results of this pilot. We believe this technology could have a real impact on drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in Adelaide, and other cities, because its traffic light network will be able to make real-time decisions.”

“The South Australian Government remains focused on establishing Adelaide as a dynamic and liveable smart city underpinned by robust innovation initiatives, digital infrastructure and support programs to help local business and entrepreneurs thrive,” says SA science and information economy minister Kyam Maher.