SOUTH AFRICA: when technology invites itself into Cape Town’s road traffic

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SOUTH AFRICA: when technology invites itself into Cape Town's road traffic©Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock

Fibre Based Integrations, a company specializing in optical systems, and Cepton, an American company specializing in vehicle detection solutions, will combine their technologies to make Cape Town the largest smart city in Southern Africa. The initiative will provide accurate 3D (three-dimensional) information on the size and speed of vehicles and allow for better traffic efficiency leading to a greener urban environment.

Cape Town, South Africa, has a population of 4.618 million. With the growing population and the flow of vehicles, traffic challenges are becoming increasingly important. In this context, two technology companies Fibre Based Integrations and Cepton are undertaking several projects to make the South African capital a smart city.

The aim is to organize road traffic in this gateway city to southern Africa by combining the potential of Fibre Based Integrations’ optical systems with Cepton’s vehicle detection solutions. The system will monitor the use of traffic lanes, and identify vehicle classification systems on traffic lights placed at intersections.

The impact on mobility

According to Josh Goosen, systems engineer at Fibre Based Integrations, the systems to be deployed in the near future will provide information on vehicle size, traffic volume, frequency, lane positioning, and potential obstructions. Based on this information, operators will eventually know peak periods, real-time lane occupancy status, waiting time at traffic lights, and accident-prone areas.

“This is because lidar sensors offer much higher spatial resolution than radar, and perform better than cameras in a variety of weather and lighting conditions to provide highly accurate data. Lidar sensors also help protect the privacy of individuals, as they do not collect any biometric information, making them particularly suitable in locations where cameras could raise privacy concerns,” explains Klaus Wagner, the director of product management, and marketing, at Cepton.

Read also-SOUTH AFRICA: In Kouga, authorities accelerate the ambition of a smart city

Founded in 2016, Cepton is a U.S.-based company that specializes in “lidar” technologies. This solution is a remote sensing and ranging method similar to radar, but emits pulses of infrared light to determine the position of an object, instead of radio waves. Based on this technology, including its “Helius” perception software, the California-based start-up is designing and marketing ADAS/AV (Autonomous Vehicle Simulation and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) applications, smart spaces, and smart industrial applications in countries such as Germany, Canada, Japan, India and China.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi 

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