Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Vivacity Labs have announced that AI-controlled road junctions are now active in the Greater Manchester region, UK.

The installation of AI technology at the traffic junctions has been designed to accommodate active travel modes, including cycling and walking, which are said to have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vivacity’s AI sensors enable TfGM to identify different types of road users and control traffic signals accordingly.

The new technology will help TfGM to assign priority to people on foot or bike where and when appropriate.

Vivacity Labs CEO Mark Nicholson said: “Since the pandemic, commuter trends and traffic hotspots have changed completely, and cities need AI to help protect people no matter what mode of transport they take.

“Our vision is to help cities implement critical policies addressing safety, air quality, sustainable travel, and congestion, at a hyper-local level.”

Vivacity said that its AI signal control system first went live early this year, which features an algorithm developed by the company.

The system has been designed to quickly adapt to the changing traffic conditions and implement high-level strategies at both local and city-wide scales.

The company claims that the system has the potential to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Greater Manchester area as it reduces traffic congestion and queuing at traffic signals.

UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “Smart traffic technology is just one of the many ground-breaking areas the government is funding to pioneer new ways for artificial intelligence and 5G to transform our lives for the better.

“We’re backing this initiative in (Greater) Manchester to improve the city’s transport, reduce journey times and cut pollution. I look forward to seeing its positive impact and sharing the lessons across the UK.”