Cebu’s traffic light system ‘most advanced’ in world

CEBU City’s P480 million new traffic light system is expected to be up and running by the end of February 2023, and its supplier says it uses the most advanced technology in the world.

Phase 1 covered 18 intersections on General Maxilom Avenue, Serging Osmeña Boulevard and Colon Street, among others, at a cost of P232 million. It was completed in the last quarter of 2021.

Phase 2 covers 27 intersections and costs P248 million.

The new traffic lights are installed through underground cables and feature 184 high-definition cameras that detect traffic flow using artificial intelligence that automatically adjusts the signal timing.

The new system replaces the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System that has been in use for the last 34 years.

According to the project’s technical specifications, the traffic signal equipment is composed of an LED traffic signal, LED pedestrian signal, adaptive vehicle countdown timers, vehicle detectors and traffic controller, among others.

The winning suppliers are Triune Electronics Systems Inc., a Manila-based technology firm, and Cylix Tech CCTV and Smart Surveillance.

“Cebu City’s adaptive traffic system is the latest and most advanced technology that uses adaptive countdown timers, which can change its display value depending on the computation of the main computer box, within the Philippines and even first world countries abroad. It’s only Cebu City that has this kind of latest technology,” Timothy Ong of Triune Electronics said Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Ong said the Cebu City system is more sophisticated than the one used in Metro Manila.

“Although the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) has transitioned into an adaptive traffic system, it has eliminated or disabled the countdown timers that show the remaining wait/go-time to the motorists,” he said.

The cameras installed can capture plate numbers and the persons inside the vehicles. These can zoom 32x and see 360 degrees.

Paul Gotiong of the Cebu City Transportation Office said these will greatly help their department’s operation since they can easily identify roads that have problems with traffic congestion.

He said the devices can also capture crimes committed on the streets, helping authorities solve them.

He said the new technology will have a big impact on business because it can minimize delays in the delivery of goods and traders won’t be late for meetings, adding that these will encourage investors to pour their money into the city.

The entire project, though, has not been turned over to the City Government, which has yet to fully pay for Phase 1, while it has released only 15 percent of the amount for Phase 2 as mobilization fund.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Kenneth Co commended the Cebu City Government for its efforts to modernize the decades-old traffic system in the city.

“I praise the City Government for finally modernizing Cebu’s traffic system. The less time trucks and people stay on the road means more fuel savings and higher productivity,” Co told SunStar Cebu.

Modernizing the city’s traffic system will improve the flow of traffic and bring economic progress not only to the city but also adjacent local government units, said Co.

He also said with the introduction of the new technology, more drivers and riders will be disciplined and obey traffic rules, reducing accidents and promoting road safety. (PAC / PJB, EHP)