Good response to Dhofar University’s traffic solution

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: April 3 – A Universal Traffic Control System developed by a team of Dhofar University’s College of Engineering can be helpful in reducing day-to-day traffic jams. A prototype of the system, which was on display in the university, evoked good response from visitors including officials of the Royal Oman Police (ROP). A research team led by Dr Thabit Sultan Mohammed, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, has developed the system. Other members of the team are four Omani students Zakaria bin Said al Ismaili, Mohammed bin Fares al Maslahi, Sultan bin Mohammed al Balushi and Mohammed bin Rashid al Khayari.
In an interview with the Observer, Dr Thabit termed the system quite effective and something that has been “a fully workable prototype composed of hardware and software assembly of the system is developed and tested.” “The system was positively evaluated during its participation in the Information Technology and Telecommunications Exhibition (ICTEx) in Muscat. It was praised and being awarded an advanced position among other participating projects,” he said.
973567Commenting on the system’s viability in the region, Dr Thabit said: “The invented system is designed to suit regions that may vary in their traffic flow. It is also intended to fit a certain region, which may have some timely changing traffic peaks. If the traffic flow is of a stable and consistent fashion, then the mode of operation will be such that signals will work with some predetermined fixed time pattern. Alternatively, an adaptive mode is applied when the density of traffic is changing. In this mode, real time data about traffic flow are collected and analysed. Time delays for different signals among the road junction are hence being properly adjusted. For both given modes of operation, pedestrians are given suitable road sharing with appropriate propriety. The system in its adaptive mode has an additional merit that is activated at times showing very low traffic flow, where it will allocate traffic propriety to the first car approaching a signal.”
When asked does the system suit to Salalah, Dr Thabit put stress on Salalah’s popular tourism season Khareef when traffic jam is a regular feature on the main arteries of the city while many subsidiaries remain empty.
“By using this system, traffic can be regulated effectively and pressure on the main roads can be diverted to other roads. If implemented, it can really be very effective during the Khareef season.”
Among the smart features, the system is equipped with geographical coordination of road intersections, which can be read online using a GPS (Global Positioning System) module. This emergency mode is activated if an accident is causing any blockage of traffic flow in a specific road intersection.
“These inputs and some more useful information can be circulated via SMS through a central office and allowing them to intervene and divert traffic.”
The system, according to Dr Thabit is very useful amid rapid acceleration in urban growth accompanied by expansion of roads and other developments. “Number of cars are bound to increase with development. They put pressure on roads. Salalah is a very good example where number of cars multiplies several times during Khareef and the streets get overcrowded.”
The system, according to Dr Thabit, is good in addressing the traffic movement issue; thereby addressing the issues of emission of harmful gases from choked cars and people reaching late to offices as a positive byproduct. He appreciated the capabilities of Omani students and assured more interesting projects in coming days.