by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – LATEST technologies can help improve public transportation in South Africa, eventually catapulting the country to a benchmark for improving urbanised transport systems.
Solving the transportation-related challenges holds great opportunity for the country, added technology executive, Marcel Bruyns.
He said considering that 67 percent of South Africa’s total population live in urban areas, a good way to begin addressing these challenges is to use digital innovation to tackle urban transport.
Bruyns said despite moving in the right direction with projects like the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the Gautrain, local urban areas lack the connectivity needed to support an efficient public transportation system.
“This is where technology could elevate transport in South Africa,” Brunys, Sales Manager at Axis Communications.
He said employing data-driven, cloud-based mobile surveillance could help redefine roads, train and bus stations, taxi ranks and even ports in ensuring an efficient and secure experience.
The executive recommended a number of enabling technologies.
These include adaptive traffic signal control (ATSC) technologies to help improve the quality of service that commuters experience on roads and highways.
ATSC refers to traffic control systems that use data from vehicle detectors or cameras to optimise traffic signal timing based on real-time traffic demand in an area.
The expert explained that digital twin (DT) technology can transform traffic management and operations. A DT is a digital version of a physical object or process based on data from various sources.
Drones and innovative security cameras have also been recommended.
By collecting both visual images and coordinates, they could monitor construction activity in, for example, city ports.
The expert said big data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) make it possible for satellite imagery to be used in monitoring road conditions or getting a big picture view of cities in their entirety.
“There’s no denying that South Africa’s transport problems are complex, but we shouldn’t feel discouraged by this,” Bruyns said.
“Whatever methods we choose, one thing’s for sure: technology holds the key to delivering the solutions to our challenges, and we should be embracing its potential.”
The transport, storage and communications industry contributed almost R350 billion to South Africa’s GDP in the first quarter of 2022. This is a 1,8 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2021.
The transport industry accounts for around 6,5 percent of GDP.
– CAJ News