Introduction

Traffic lights control the flow of traffic in a way that makes the most efficient use of space and time. They use red, green, and yellow lights to regulate the flow of traffic and to make it easier for drivers to know when it is OK to proceed, and when to stop. Some traffic lights use sophisticated algorithms to adjust the flow of traffic depending on the number of red traffic lights, green traffic lights, and yellow traffic lights while others use human operators, Timers, to adjust the lights based on the current flow of traffic, and the current state of vehicular density.

Are traffic lights in Nigeria timed or intelligent?

If you had a chance to take a wild guess, your guess might just be wrong. We are used to things not working in Nigeria so sometimes, it comes to us as a shock that some popular technologies in developed countries are introduced here in Nigeria. The answer to that question will be partly Yes/No because smart intelligent traffic lights have started showing up in major metropolises in Nigeria.

ARE ALL TRAFFIC LIGHTS NOT SMART?

No, all traffic lights are not smart. In Nigeria, they are created by estimating peak hours and setting up timers to prioritize a lane that is expected to have more vehicular traffic. Therefore in a case where there is a vehicle broken down on the lane that is expected not to have traffic and traffic builds up, that lane still is not given priority.

 But with smart and intelligent traffic lights Sensor-based traffic lights that are “smart” or “intelligent” rely on a system of sensors to determine whether vehicles are present. Sensor types vary depending on geography and technology. To sense the presence of automobiles, several systems use lasers, rubber hoses filled with air, or video cameras.

An inductive loop system is another popular form of sensor. A coil of wire implanted in the road surface is used in these systems. When automobiles (big metal items!) stopover them, the wire senses changes in magnetic fields. 

Have you noticed any smart or intelligent traffic lights may be in Victoria Island, Lagos? or Maitama, Abuja? leave us a comment? for engineering students, this will work very well as a final year project.