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How IoT can help reduce urban traffic congestion

The Problem

We all know that bad roads, inadequate infrastructure and inefficient traffic management cause traffic jams. But these problems have mid to long term solutions. Let’ see what we can do and if there’s a simpler way to reduce traffic jams.

Our team spent some time on the most congested areas of Bangalore studying the vehicles on the road. And one of the clear patterns that traffic-congestionemerged was that the biggest contributor to the jams were cars with only a single driver. And we are not even including the cabs or taxis. So, we did the math.

Based on ½ Km stretch we found the following approximate counts –

The total area of the road is = 500*80 = 40,000 square meters. In this ares, approximate space occupied by –

  •  Cars = 40%
  •  Cabs = 20%
  •  Buses = 15%
  •  Two-wheelers = 15%
  • Pedestrian = 10%

More than 90% of these cars had only a single person, who was the driver. Assuming a four people car capacity, ¾ space of the car is vacant and is wasting the road space.

If, instead of one, these cars had two people, we could reduce the numver of cars by half, thus incrasing the road utilization by 20%.

The Solution

The solution lies in discouraging people to go out as a single passenger in their cars.

The Implementation

The implementation would need the cooperation and teamwork of the government, city traffic police and most importantly, us – the citizens.

When a car owner goes to a fuel station the next time, an authorized City Traffic Personnel (CTF) fits an IoT based device comprising an occupancy sensor, and a GPS device in the car.This occupancy sensor is capable of detecting the number of car occupants. This device has a unique ID, and the car owner would be required to fill in his credit card details against his car’s device ID, using a tablet available with the CTF.

The rest is simple. The device tracks the kilometers travelled by the car, when the car had only one occupant. In a day, a car owner can travel alone for say 5 kms, and beyond that every km he pays a traffic cess, of say 10/- per km. At the end of the week, this amount is automatically deducted from his credit card.

The CTF can implement additional traffic rules such as cars with single occupants are levied heavier traffic cess on entering a busy street at peak hours.


This solution would discourage single cars on the roads, which are the biggest menace of traffic. The traffic will reduce dramatically as people would be encouraged to travel in a group. We would be able to restore our environment as the number of exhausts will reduce. The list of benefits is long and this solution is very simple to implement too.





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