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Sutton and Kingston to deploy AI to monitor cycle lanes

01/06/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Sutton and Kingston Councils have revealed plans to use AI technology to monitor the use of their cycle lanes.

Cyclist on cycle lane

The boroughs in south-west London are taking the step as part of a partnership with transport AI company Vivacity to use AI internet of things (IoT) technology to provide anonymised data on different modes of transport and movement.

It is part of the InnOvaTe project to promote the use of IoT technology among the South London Partnership of local authorities.

Vivacity provides video analytics sensors, each of which contains a camera and uses machine learning algorithms to gather data on transport modes, flows and patterns. The images are deleted after rounds of processing.

Sutton and Kingston plan to deploy sensors to gather more information about each borough's cycle infrastructure, including the number of cyclists currently using the existing cycle lanes and main roads within the boroughs, and the number of unauthorised vehicles illegally using the spaces.

The councils will use the data in considering the areas to be included in any future expansion of their cycle infrastructure.

Sutton has identified 13 sites for placing the sensors, while Kingston has found 17.

Promoting active travel

Councillor Manuel Abellan, chair of Sutton’s environment and sustainable transport committee, said: “The council recognises the need to reduce the amount of private car use and to promote active travel.

 “By using this innovative technology, the council can learn more and gain better insights into the use of its cycle lanes. This will enable us to identify opportunities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make progress towards becoming carbon neutral, tackling the climate emergency and being a green borough.”

Kingston’s deputy leader Councillor Tim Cobbett said: "We are committed to a greener future by developing sustainable transport schemes and cutting edge initiatives so Kingston can become carbon neutral by 2038. More accurate data can help us with that goal, allowing us to create even better spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.

"The more we know about how our spaces are currently used, and how many journeys are made using different methods of transport, the better our work can be targeted and removing barriers to active travel and ensuring our infrastructure for walking and cycling is targeted where it is needed most and this project will help us to do that."

Image from iStock, DZarzycka

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