German firm wins contract to design and implement a smart traffic system in Nairobi, Kenya

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A German firm- H.P. Gauff Ingenieure GmbH & Co. KG –JBG has won a US$ 14m tender that will see them designing and implementing a smart traffic system in Nairobi for smooth flow of vehicles on the capital’s roads.

The company is given the responsibility of supervising the rollout of the intelligent traffic system (ITS) that entails the installation of intelligent traffic lights at major road junctions in the capital city.

The smart lights are projected to allow a longer period of traffic flow from roads with most vehicles as opposed to the current analogue traffic lights that are time-based, restricted to allowing and stopping vehicles at intervals.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) which is the implementing agency confirmed the reports and said that under the proposed plan, cameras at intersections will determine the most clogged roads through vehicle number plates embedded with microchips that Kenya is moving to adopt and automatically synchronise traffic lights, effectively removing the need for traffic police.

“The system is set to transform our roads with the reduction of human interface and come in handy in the collection of useful data for decision making purposes and we also expect there to be drastic change in driving behaviour among motorists especially in Nairobi as traffic offence will be captured on camera in real-time,” said KURA.

The first phase of the project will involve construction of the smart traffic system at 100 major road junctions and also involve construction of an operation command centre that will house engineers, system specialists and traffic police officers to monitor traffic in real-time.

This important initiative is jointly funded by the World Bank and the Kenyan government and is part of the Nairobi Urban Transport Improvement Programme.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) last year released regulations for new number plates that will come with a microchip that can be read remotely by sensors at the junctions.