Additional traffic sensors installed in Kent as part of ADEPT Live Labs trial

Kent County Council and its partners at Amey are installing more traffic sensors on behalf of Dartford Borough Council to monitor traffic patterns that are helping make future transport decisions for the county.

It’s part of the £22.9m Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport, ADEPT, SMART Places Live Labs programme.

They are working with Vivacity Labs to install an additional 18 sensors following the successful installation of 32 insight sensors back in February 2021.

So far, using the anonymous smart data collected from the original set of sensors installed in February, transport planners at KCC have been able to understand how road users interact with transport infrastructure and each other. The combination of real-time data and predictive algorithms is enabling the highways authority to identify areas for road layout or infrastructure improvements and ultimately design a better road user experience. Transport planners have also used near-miss analysis between vehicles vs vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to understand those conflicts, near misses and incidents, along with the traffic conditions that preceded them, which is enabling planners to design-out inherent road layout risks.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “This innovative technology will enable us as a council to have definitive data at our fingertips.

“As well as helping to make safer communities, these sensors will play their part in delivering our strategic aim of having no deaths on our county’s roads by 2050.”

The latest sensors are again being installed in Dartford which will be able to count and classify what modes of transport are using the highways at any given time, as well as monitoring the usage and speeds of cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians. This stage of the project is being funded by Dartford Borough Council and is to provide insight into the traffic patterns around the Town Centre improvements planned for next year. Traffic patterns will be monitored before, during and after to provide insight into the improvement works. 

Sunita Dulai, Head of Business Improvement for Transport Infrastructure at Amey, said: “We’re delighted with the data that’s been gathered during phase one of this project. By working in collaboration with Kent County Council and Vivacity we’re able to look at ways to enhance transport systems.  The installation of these 18 additional sensors will further provide insight that can be used by the local authority to make decisions that will improve road user safety, ease congestion and identify areas for transport infrastructure improvements.”

All the data collected via the Vivacity sensors are anonymised and help the highways authority to understand the interactions on the network that then enable decisions to be made to improve journey time and experience.

Vivacity Labs Co-Founder Mark Nicholson said: “Having accurate and detailed data is the key success when it comes to implementing new road schemes and network changes, and it’s fantastic to see how Kent County Council are using Vivacity sensor data insights to make positive changes in road safety, congestion and improving road user experience overall.”

Giles Perkins, Live Labs Programme Director said: “The deployment in Kent demonstrates the potential of taking a data and evidence-led approach to monitoring our local highway networks with an eye to delivering real outcomes for those who rely upon this key asset day in, day out.”

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9 million project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, 02, Ringway and WSP.

Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.

(Picture – Vivacity Labs)

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