Traffic lights have been used for decades to control and manage traffic flows crossing road intersections to increase traffic efficiency and road safety. However, relying on fixed time cycles may not be ideal in dealing with the increasing congestion level in cities. Therefore, we propose a new Adaptive Traffic Light Control System (ATLCS) to assist traffic management authorities in efficiently dealing with traffic congestion in cities. The main idea of our ATLCS consists in synchronizing a number of traffic lights controlling consecutive junctions by creating a delay between the times at which each of them switches to green in a given direction. Such a delay is dynamically updated based on the number of vehicles waiting at each junction, thereby allowing vehicles leaving the city centre to travel a long distance without stopping (i.e., minimizing the number of occurrences of the ‘stop and go’ phenomenon), which in turn reduces their travel time as well. The performance evaluation of our ATLCS has shown that the average travel time of vehicles traveling in the synchronized direction has been significantly reduced (by up to 39%) compared to non-synchronized fixed time Traffic Light Control Systems. Moreover, the overall achieved improvement across the simulated road network was 17%.
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