THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city’s traffic signals, which force motorists to wait at the red light even if there is no vehicle on the other side, often get criticised for their inefficiency. Bringing an end to this, the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) is installing the country’s first vehicle-actuated Wireless Traffic Signal Controller (Wi-TraC) at Vellayambalam Junction.
KRFB has begun the preliminary works and the system will be commissioned within two weeks.
Developed by C-DAC, the Wi-TraC has distinct features over conventional signals. The camera in the system can detect vehicles and the intelligent transport system will change signals accordingly.
“Since it is wireless, the road need not be dug up to connect traffic controller equipment and signal poles. It has a high-end vehicle detection camera. The system operates on solar power,” said KRFB COO P C Harikesh.
Wi-TraC is a government-supported research project of C-DAC. The project got support from Keltron. “Since it is a research project, we got the equipment at a lesser price. Keltron supplied the vehicle detection cameras at reduced rates,” Harikesh added.
Wi-TraC has many advantages over conventional traffic controllers in terms of functional features, energy efficiency and size. Since it is small and pole-mountable, it does not occupy any space on the pavement. It is a cost-effective solution since it won’t require digging, Hume pipes and armoured cables. It has a GPS-enabled Real-time Clock (RTC) for distributed time-synchronisation.
Wi-TraC is a 32-bit microcontroller-based intelligent road traffic controller with a distributed architecture. It consists of a master controller and a number of slave controllers. The traffic junction plan resides in the master controller. Every island or signal pole has a slave controller.
For switching the signal lamps, the master controller establishes communication link with the slave controllers by sending wireless ping commands. Unlike other CRIP roads where the Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL) is installing traffic signals, Wi-TraC is being installed directly by KRFB. The system is planned only at Vellayambalam Junction.