Automotive traffic information systems for India

Automotive traffic information systems for India


As the population of the modern cities is increasing, the vehicular travel is also increasing leading to congestion on roads. The average number of vehicles in India is growing at the rate of 10.16% annually, over the last few years [1]. Spending hours in traffic jam has become part and parcel of metropolitan life style, leading to health and environmental hazards.

The steady increase in the number of automobiles on the road has amplified the importance of managing traffic flow efficiently to optimise utilisation of existing road capacity. High fuel cost and environmental concerns also provide important incentives for minimising traffic delays.

Therefore, to trim down such traffic situations, Automotive Traffic Information System (ATIS) can be put into picture. ATIS works on remote sensing technology that enables the chauffer to visualise the real time traffic information inside the vehicle, without having a glimpse at the traffic signal pole. ATIS also intimates some basic information such as time left for change in traffic light and on which road the vehicle is been driven. Thus, use of ATIS can create a revolution in Indian Traffic Information System which can reduce the rate of accidents occurring at traffic junctions, reduced noise pollution, increase in fuel economy and further contributing in the appraisal of the Indian economy.

Traditional method for traffic control
The traditional method for traffic control uses fixed traffic poles on the left side of the road at the traffic junctions that display the traffic light. Which is, in some circumstances not feasible to view from different angles of the road if we are behind a heavy motor vehicle or being unmindful of the traffic light can also lead to various problems like delay in traffic flow, un-mindful jumping of traffic. Harsh weather conditions like fog and heavy rain also concludes in accidents and delay in traffic flow. This visibility cut –off from traffic signal causes some of the extended problems which are further supported by the survey data of Indian Transportation:

  • Accidents due to un-mindful violation of traffic signal: “According to the police, 10 % of road fatalities on Delhi roads occur due to jumping of red lights by motorists. This year, as many as 6,420 motorists were prosecuted for jumping red lights at one intersection in Delhi”. Many a times it happens intentionally but, sometimes due to lack of traffic information received by the chauffer or being un-mindful of the traffic signal causes such kind of road fatalities.
  • Delay in traffic flow causes fuel loss: Annual report on fuel loss in Delhi states that 0.37 million kilograms of CNG, 0.13 million litres of diesel and 0.41 million litres of petrol is wasted everyday due to idling of vehicles [2].-According to the fuel consumption survey on vehicles, the strata shown in table below gives an basic idea of fuel consumption by vehicle at traffic signals (Table 1):

    Annual Fuel Loss Due To Idling of Vehicles At Signalized Intersections (Table 2):

    Converting these figures into monetary terms, the total losses work out to be Rs.27.25 million per day and Rs.9944.5 million per annum just for leading roads of Delhi. Taking into consideration only the fuel consumption at leading roads of 8 metropolitan cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune & Jaipur of India, the approximate Fuel loss work out to be Rs.79556 million per annum.

  • Pollution: Contribution of industrial, vehicular and domestic sources of pollution[3] to the ambient air is as follows (Table 3):

    Pollution produced due to idling of one vehicle for 5 min (Calculated Annually) is as follows (Table 4):

    Engine exhaust (diesel and gas) contains more than 40 hazardous air pollutants. Emissions from vehicles are producing around 70% of the air pollution. Slow speeds and idling vehicles produce, per trip, 4 to 8 times more pollutants and produce 800 grams of carbon dioxide per day just while idling. By the help of strata above, only considering the CO2 emission of the 2-wheelers at the end of the sales year 2012 which states the sale of 10,69,069 units [7] will approximately emit 10,65,43,416.54 kg per annum.

Traffic control using ATIS
The idea is to shift traffic control from the conventional fixed street signals to the moving cars themselves. This will eliminate the problem of visibility cut-off of the driver from the traffic signal as the ATIS is been installed in the vehicle itself. This will enable the chauffer to acquire all the basic on-going traffic information. Also the alert system helps to grasp the attention of the chauffer towards the traffic information so as to reduce the chance of traffic delay, when the traffic light changes from amber to green colour. So the basic function, ATIS does is:

  • Intimates real- time traffic information.
  • Alerts the driver.

Installing ATIS in traffic control system of nation can provide chauffer with the basic detailed information regarding on-going traffic. This further can lead to the reduction in fuel consumption, pollution and delay at traffic signals.

Work diagram and methodology

ATIS works on remote sensing technology. It uses a Radio Frequency (RF) transmission module to transmit information from source to the client.

Figure 1: Shows the traffic signal transmission from the transmitter on road to the receivers on vehicles.

Microcontroller Decoder Transmitter Antenna

ATIS is installed in two phases which is as follows:

    • On Road System: This system is installed on road at every traffic signal junction. The system comprises of a micro-controller fed with the predefined traffic signal change information, a decoder which encrypts the data and a transmitter that transmits the data in a range of 100 to 150 meters ( The range is flexible and can be changed with respect to the requirements ).

Figure 2: Shows the On Road ATIS system and its components.


  • On Board System: This system is installed in the vehicle as a device which displays the on-going traffic light, the time left for change of traffic signal and on which road the vehicle is driven. These functions of the device are obtained by interfacing the micro-controller with the LCD display, LED’s , buzzer, encoder and a RF receiver. When the vehicle comes within the range of the transmitter, the transmitted traffic information data is been received by the RF receiver on the device which is further decrypted and fed to the LED’s Microcontroller LCD Buzzer Antenna Encoder micro-controller which further displays the traffic information on the LCD display and LED. Buzzer blows when the signal changes from amber to green colour. Figure 3: Shows the On Board ATIS System and its components. The below figure shows the working of On Board ATIS:

Figure 3: Shows the On Board ATIS System and its components.

ATIS helps in overcoming the problems like:

  • When a heavy motor vehicle is in front of us: It enables us to acknowledge the on-going traffic signal without a glimpse at the traffic light pole. And thus reducing the rate of accidents at the signals.
  • Being unmindful at traffic signal: It attracts the attention of the chauffer by blowing the buzzer before the traffic light changes to green colour. And thus eliminating the delay in the traffic flow.
  • Harsh weather conditions: As the chauffer can acquire the desired traffic information with the vehicle, there is no case of visibility cut-off due to fog or heavy rain fall. Thus making driving informative of the on-going traffic signals and cautious regarding the traffic.
  • Fuel loss: ATIS provides the chauffer with the estimated time left for the change in traffic light. Thus the engine ignition can be turned off accordingly and we can save approximately Rs.79556 million per annum.
  • Pollution: As the fuel loss at the traffic signal is reduced, the pollution also gets reduced by providing basic traffic information to the chauffer. Thus the CO2 emission can be reduced by 10,65,43,416.54 kg per annum approximately.

In this paper we discussed techniques for traffic light control. Firstly we discussed traditional method for traffic control and further we discussed the installation of ATIS. We came across different problems faced by the conventional traffic control and tried to overcome those problems by the help of ATIS. Thus we can conclude that the installation of ATIS is cheap, reliable & efficient which ensures free traffic flow, reduced noise pollution, increase in fuel economy, reduction in accident rate and thus contributing to the appraisal of Indian economy.

Future scope
In Future ATIS will also be equipped with systems like:

  • Auto cut-off ignition: For an instance, if a vehicle is at traffic signal and is immobilize for more than ten seconds and the time left for change in traffic signal is more than twenty seconds than the ignition of the vehicle will auto cut-off.
  • Used for vigilance and accident assistance: By linking transmitter of each traffic junction to a main frame server. We will be able to monitor each and every road instantly. Figure 5: Shows the view of transmitters installed on roads of a city on the main server.

Further the vehicles will be made equipped with transmitter fed with the data as on the Registration Certificate book of the vehicle and the accident prone sensors which will send signal to the vehicle transmitter at the time of accident. This transmitter will emit the data to receiver on the road junctions connected to main server when the vehicle crosses the traffic junction. This way we can use ATIS for recovering stolen vehicles or vehicles indulged in criminal activities and also provide immediate medical aid at the accident spot.


  • MOTOR VEHICLE AIR POLLUTION PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACT AND CONTROL MEASURES, World Health Organization, Division of Operational Supporting Environmental Health, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • White Paper On pollution in Delhi, Govt. Of India, Ministry Of Environment & Forest.
  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi.
  • Economic Times, New Delhi.