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Dynamix

Ysgol Deganwy – Years 4-6

Project: Improving street-lighting efficiency and pedestrian safety

Most of the world’s streetlights are always on at night, even when there are very few cars on the road. SmartRoad+ will help reduce the amount of electricity wasted on streetlights by automatically switching them on or off as necessary. The road senses traffic movement and turns on or intensifies light levels ahead of vehicles and turns off lights behind them. Pedestrian crossings incorporated into SmartRoad+ also use the sensors to warn people of approaching vehicles using bright LEDs, something that’s more important as near-silent electric vehicles become more popular.

Infrared (IR) sensors detect each vehicle that passes, sending a signal to the Raspberry Pi with the sensor’s identifier. The Python code then sends output signals to the streetlights and zebra crossings. The streetlights ahead of the vehicle switch on and those behind it switch off while the LEDs in the zebra crossing run different sequences depending on whether a vehicle is approaching and how close it is. Another bit of code ensures streetlights switch off during daylight hours using a photoresistor to detect light levels.

We could further use the sensors to improve traffic management by monitoring congestion and using smart signs to automatically divert traffic around problem areas. We could also use the sensors to monitor speeding traffic and activate traffic calming measures, such as traffic lights or automatic speed bumps that rise out of the road only when speeding traffic is detected. We have also discussed linking the sensors to an app for visually impaired people to assist them when crossing the road, integrating this into map apps they already have on their phones.

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