Bolton firm’s ground breaking technology to boost cycle use in towns and cities
A hi-tech company has developed ground-breaking technology likely to encourage cycle use in town and city centres, so helping the drive to cut emissions from vehicles.
4Sight Imaging Ltd, based in Bolton, has developed software which enables traffic signalling systems – or traffic lights – to detect cyclists waiting at junctions.
Most current systems cannot “see” cyclists waiting for a green light for go, but working in partnership with Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire, 4Sight technologists have pioneered a prototype system that can.
4Sight managing director Brook Jackson said the development could potentially encourage cyclists on to the roads and motivate increasing numbers of commuters to ditch their cars.
“Most traffic signalling systems don’t recognise cyclists reliably, and this can reduce the effectiveness of traffic control in urban centres,” said Brook.
“Our intelligent recognition concept for detecting cycles will detect when they are waiting at lights.
“We can even bias the traffic signals to favour cyclists, thereby helping to encourage cycle-use.”
He said that biasing traffic signals in favour of cyclists might also reduce the number of riders who dangerously ignore traffic signals, sometimes going through red lights.
And Brook hailed “innovative” bosses at Kirklees Council for allowing the 4Sight Imaging prototype to be demonstrated on its roads.
Meanwhile, 4Sight’s technology is also being used in the battle to drive anti-social behaviour by motorists off the roads.
One local authority in Greater Manchester has had the company’s PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) cameras with vehicle surveillance software so people driving dangerously can be identified.
The move is assisting Bolton Council to make the town’s roads safer, now that central Government has devolved this responsibility to local councils.
The company is in the vanguard of advanced ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) technology, with its systems already widely used in car park management and on automatic toll roads across Europe, particularly Turkey.
Brook Jackson said that, particularly for road safety, combining PTZ camera technology with ANPR and other vehicle surveillance capabilities had significant advantages and local authorities were keen to work with 4Sight to explore this approach.
Other councils are also showing interest in the advantages 4Sight Imaging’s technology can offer, said Brook.
As well as highway surveillance, car park management and automated toll booths, other applications of 4Sight’s technology are for automatic optical inspection on manufacturing production lines and in the defence industry.
In addition, 4Sight’s imaging technology is also helping retailers to harvest essential data on customer demographics at out-of-town shopping parks across the UK.
Data gathered by CCTV equipment developed by 4Sight Imaging Ltd is enabling the giants of the high street modify their offer as the bid to navigate their way out of the pandemic induced slump.