Artificial intelligence to direct traffic in Istanbul

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The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is working on an artificial intelligence (AI) project to ease the city’s notorious traffic jams, daily Milliyet has reported.

“By analyzing images from junctions, the system will activate traffic lamps and turn them green in a short time to ease traffic flow,” said Esat Temimhan, the director of Istanbul IT and Smart City Technologies (İSBAK), an sub unit of the municipality.

The AI system has started in two pilot regions, he said.

“We are monitoring the vehicles in Demirciler and bicycles and the scooters on Bağdat Avenue,” said Temimhan.

İSBAK collects images and data from the sensors on roads. Analyzing the type of the vehicles that drive the roads, the system “offers” alternative routes or activates the green lights of the traffic lambs to make the vehicles move and ease the traffic jam.

“Artificial intelligence detects the vehicles. Our priority is to analyze the data and step in as soon as possible,” he added.

Hakan Çelik, the research-development chief of İSBAK, is another official working on the project.

“We monitor the junctions, count the vehicles, categorize them, and measure the density of the traffic jam,” said Çelik.

“AI checks the data and ‘decides’ to stop or accelerates the traffic flow for that moment,” he added.

According to Çelik, when there is no vehicle on the road, “there is no need to stop, activate the red light, and stop the traffic flow.”

Drivers, informed about the AI system, think that it would be “useful.”

“It can be a solution to ease the traffic,” a taxi driver told daily Milliyet. “The system takes action in line with traffic density,” said another.

Hurriyet Daily News

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