Cites have experienced a small period of time with very low levels of traffic when the coronavirus forced us all to spend our work days at home. Now that societies all over the world have opened up again, traffic jams are once again a fact of life.
Unfortunately, the issues that come with traffic jams and congestion, in general, hit ordinary citizens the most. Those that rely on the road to get to work, or move goods from A to B benefit greatly from a smooth traffic flow both in and around their cities.
So, what solutions do we have to ease the burden on our overcrowded roads? There are several cheap fixes that do not require massive investments in new lanes. Instead, cities can rely on innovative and smart solutions to reduce traffic.
There is no doubt that you have experienced this before.
When entering a city, you are constantly waiting around 10 seconds at every traffic light before it turns green. And most of the intersections have no crossing traffic! “If only these traffic lights were a bit smarter” is what many of us think in these situations.
Luckily, it is very much possible to program traffic lights and make them truly smart.
When done correctly, traffic lights will stop with their pre-programmed interval of 30 seconds green – 30 seconds red. Instead, they will coordinate and respond to traffic flows as they increase or decrease in volume.
One way it can be used is by measuring the type of traffic that goes into a city. Programming traffic lights accordingly can help reroute traffic, and separate heavy traffic from light traffic such as cyclists and thus help reduce road accidents.
And so, road capacity can be used to its full extent quickly and safely.
Smart container use
One issue with this heavy traffic is that sometimes it is not as heavy as one might think.
Many trucks might be driving around a city half empty, and carrying around air instead of useful goods. This is due to bad shipping management and it can be fixed with a smarter approach to container management.
One way this can be done is when shipping companies and their customers consider the options for sharing a container, as opposed to always renting a full container to ship goods. This practice is known as LCL, which stands for “Less than a Container Load”.
In this shipping method, a shipping company combines shipments from several customers and fills up a container so that in the end the container will not travel half empty.
Only when a customer has enough goods to transport should a shipping company offer the alternative: FCL or Full Container Load.
With the use of FCL freight customers can be sure that their goods will only ship when a container is full.
This is good when a company is looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions across the board. When a business manages to fill up and transport one container as opposed to two half-empty containers, less CO2 is emitted.