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Traffic Control In The Us Vs Traffic In Kinshasa

1821 words - 7 pages

In the United States, traffic control as we know it primarily consists of road signs, traffic lights, cameras, and police officers ensure that vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and trucks are following the laws; so that all can have a safe trip while on the road. It is important to have traffic control measures to prevent collisions, accidents leading deaths, and traffic congestions. In other countries, in particular certain cities, there is no modern way of controlling traffic. The city of Kinshasa, which is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Africa had customarily only police officers control traffic. Now this city is currently using two traffic control robots to ease traffic flow. This city has 10 million people and tricolor traffic lights are scarce, for that reason, it is necessary to find effective ways for transportation flow. So far these robots have positive reviews from Kinshasa commuters and pedestrians.

Location of Kinshasa, DRC (Provided by Global Issues)
The traffic robots were created by, Therese Ir Isay Kirongozi and her team of engineers; she is also founder of Women’s Technology for the recruitment of Congolese women with engineering degrees. “Her seven-member team—which despite the name includes four men—develops the robots in a small workshop with peeling walls and rudimentary equipment,” as mentioned by The Japan Times. The engineers involved were interested in a project that would help traffic since, like many African capitals, Kinshasa, is well known to have disordered driving and traffic congestions. Unfortunately, not all drivers are aware and abide by the highway code of Kinshasa. In summary of the article on Africa Infrastructure, the road network in all cities is substandard. Africa has many low budget districts as well as corruption so there is not enough to invest in the streets and highways. The road capacity is limited, pavement is deteriorating requiring maintenance, street lighting is minimal, and there are no service lanes. The plan was to put two robots at two busy intersections to see how effective these new robots are. As of today only two traffic robots are known of because the city, Kinshasa, is testing these new robot cops. There are about 600 dangerous intersections that would benefit from this new technique.
The traffic robots are 8 feet tall and beneath is a “large concrete platform erected to hold the robots” provided by writer, Tom Spendlove, thus making the robots even taller than 8 feet. These robots also have a solar panel to provide energy, it is advantageous for districts that have minimal electrical power. In the front view there is a breastplate that turns a green light or red light just like traffic lights, it can raise its arms (also equipped with lights) to let certain traffic lanes go while other lanes are stalled. These directing features are possible because of electronic detection system and cameras that allow surveillance of drivers and...

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