Busy Manchester street with pedestrians on the pavement.

TfGM announce AI controlled “smart” junctions

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have announced that they will begin to use AI to control traffic on certain junctions.

The junctions will make use of sensors that anonymously identify what type of traffic is at the junction and will then use the AI to manage the traffic accordingly, giving priority to bikes and pedestrians.

The move from TfGM comes as more people are choosing to cycle or walk due to the pandemic, something that was encouraged by half of Manchester’s famous Deansgate pedestrianised in May.

The new technology has the ability to reduce congestion in the city region, as well as reduce air pollution as a result of less cars being in the city centre for longer periods.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, said:

"Smart traffic technology is just one of the many ground-breaking areas the government is funding to pioneer new ways for artificial intelligence and 5G to transform our lives for the better.

“We're backing this initiative in (Greater) Manchester to improve the city's transport, reduce journey times and cut pollution. I look forward to seeing its positive impact and sharing the lessons across the UK."

This innovation comes as part of a 3-year plan co-funded by Innovate UK.

The project will expand to an area of 20 junctions in Manchester by the end of 2021 and aims to demonstrate impact in the real world in the form of improved journey quality for all road users in the Manchester city region.

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