Stellenbosch tests student’s high-tech solution to traffic congestion

A master’s degree student at Stellenbosch University has come up with a solution to traffic congestion on the town’s main transport artery – a high tech solution that will make traffic signals smarter.

Wilko Mohr developed the sophisticated‚ tailor-made real-time computerised control system‚ which will use cameras to synchronise traffic signals along the busy R44.

He said: “With a problem such as traffic congestion‚ a ‘hard engineering’ solution would be to build more roads‚ but ‘soft engineering’ could potentially have the same impact‚ only much faster and more affordably. Real-time traffic adaptive signal control holds significant potential for developing countries.”

Stellenbosch University said in a statement that the project would initially cover eight intersections and would be tested in the first quarter of 2019.

“Traffic congestion has become a major problem for us. We are working on various solutions and are fortunate to have the university on our doorstep‚” Deon Louw‚ Stellenbosch Municipality’s director for infrastructure services‚ said at a Rector-Mayor Forum meeting earlier this month. “In essence‚ we would like to provide a ‘living laboratory’‚ where researchers can come up with solutions to the challenges of our town and surrounds.”

Partnering with the municipality is the Stellenbosch Smart Mobility Lab (SSML)‚ a unit of the university’s department of civil engineering‚ which is headed by Johann Andersen‚ who specialises in intelligent transport systems. He is supported by Megan Bruwer‚ a lecturer in transport engineering and Mohr’s supervisor.

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