JICA tests traffic control system in Bangkok

JICA tests traffic control system in Bangkok

The experiment began in May in collaboration with the Bangkok metropolitan government and the Thai police.

Thailand's Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, speaking at a ceremony last Monday, stressed the historic significance of the experiment and showed expectations for its success.

The cause of heavy traffic in Bangkok is a result of manual signal operation, which is seen as a contributing factor. A traffic police officer in a hut at each intersection makes judgments based on camera images and visual observation and switches the signal on a control panel. The traffic lights are operated separately from each intersection and are not co-ordinated.

In the experiment, the Area Traffic Control system, which is also used in Japan, is introduced in an area surrounded by four roads in central Bangkok, with the distances of the surrounding roads totaling 8 kilometers. Driver detectors on the roads measure traffic volume and length of traffic jams, and the traffic lights installed at 13 intersections and four crosswalks are automatically controlled based on the data. If successful, it will be implemented throughout the city, he said.

The serious traffic jams are not only economic losses but also social problems, such as delays in the arrival of emergency vehicles and air pollution.

Kazuya Suzuki, head of the JICA office in Thailand, said: By reducing traffic congestion, we will improve the quality of life and reduce air pollution. We want to collaborate to make Bangkok a healthier and more comfortable city.