Maybe some of you have already seen it on the media, but for those still unaware… Valladolid has launched the world’s first smart pedestrian crossing!!!
Within the framework of the VRUITS European Project (Improving the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users through ITS applications), and thanks to the close collaboration with the Valladolid City Council, CIDAUT has installed an intelligent system that solves the problem of people detection and counting in all kind of environments using a brand new technology. This idea of measuring and monitoring people flow was found very appealing in order to improve urban mobility and the system quickly found its way on the crossing between the streets Claudio Moyano and Santiago, one of the most crowded spots in Valladolid city centre.
The aim of the installation was on one the hand detect and count pedestrians on Calle Santiago, to measure people flow and see how it varies depending on the time of day and from one day to another. The system is also able to distinguish different directions, allowing making statistics of people following one sense or another separately. On the other hand, Calle Santiago is the main pedestrian street in the city centre, being Claudio Moyano the only road crossing it. This means this particular crossing supports daily a huge amount of people. Taking pedestrian flow into account to adapt traffic lights in real time is crucial to improve pedestrian’s mobility and safety in the crossing.
This new smart system counts all passersby, determining how many people are waiting to cross, and it sends all the information to the traffic lights control to adapt the green phase accordingly if there are too many pedestrians on the waiting areas.
And what is the difference with the traditional push-buttons? Well, this system provides two main advantages over the old-fashioned buttons. Firstly, it does not depend on users to be activated. Sometimes people are oblivious to the need of pushing the button in order to activate the pedestrian green phase on some crossings, while others are impaired and unable to push it, leaving the most vulnerable road users aside. Secondly, this system allows resuming traffic flow if pedestrians are no longer waiting to cross. Haven’t you ever been retained needlessly in some traffic lights just because someone pushed the button and then left?
In addition and in order to increase pedestrian safety even more, a smart lighting module has been also implemented to illuminate pedestrians on the zebra crossing, providing an enhanced visibility so that drivers can perceive pedestrians better and react accordingly.
After all these months of hard work, here is the system installed:
C/ Santiago, towards Plaza Mayor C/ Santiago, towards Plaza Zorrilla
So if you happen to be in Valladolid and walk around that area, remember… we are watching over you!