Through the "Jeans" project, the University of Stellenbosch wants to turn the city of the same name into a smart city where the digitisation of the transport system helps to combat air pollution in South Africa.
Reducing urban congestion is the main objective of the “Jeans” project run by the Smart Mobility Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SSML) in South Africa. To achieve this, the academic institution in the Western Cape has entered into a partnership with technology solutions provider PVT Group.
The Karlsruhe, Germany-based company will initially provide its digital tools to test and calibrate adaptive traffic light control systems in the South African city of Stellenbosch. “Together with the authorities, we will empower South African cities to move towards smart and sustainable mobility, including real-time traffic light coordination,” says Christian Haas, CEO of PTV Group.
In the long term, it will also support research and development (R&D) into electric mobility at SSML. Other companies are currently working on green mobility projects in South Africa, such as GoMetro. The Cape Town-based start-up recently announced the deployment of electric minibuses in the Rainbow Nation from 2023.
These vehicles will be assembled locally in partnership with South African company MiX Telematics. However, according to Thinus Booysen, the head of the research chair on the Internet of Things (IOT) at Stellenbosch University, this type of project could come up against the electricity shortage that Southern Africa is experiencing, in addition to the lack of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.