While big-ticket infrastructure projects to help improve the country’s transportation sector are underway, students, engineers and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have come up with some digital solutions to solve problems contributing to heavy traffic.
In the just concluded National Science and Technology Week, the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) showcased at least three digital solutions to traffic congestion, “colorum” vehicles and errant motorists.
Rowena Cristina Guevara, DOST undersecretary for research and development, said the technologies developed with the help of students and engineers from De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) were part of the envisioned intelligent transport system for the country.
With funding from PCIEERD, engineers from DLSU came up with PUBFix, a software aimed at ensuring that the operation of buses would be more efficient by dispatching units depending on demand. The program is aided by a passenger counter mechanism that allows operators to determine if there is an oversupply or undersupply of buses in a route.
Also developed by DLSU engineers, Catch-All, on the other hand, is a program that uses artificial intelligence to spot motorists who commit traffic violations. It can collate the visual information, doing away with the need for people to monitor traffic cameras.
The country’s problem with colorum vehicles, or those operating without a franchise, is hoped to be addressed through UP’s Project Dilaw (detection and identification of legitimate public utility vehicles).
Yzabel Iesa Quiñones, one of the project’s software developers, said the system worked by deploying handheld devices called “motes” on the dashboard of PUVs. These devices then communicate through radio with the “base stations” that are with traffic enforcers to allow them to detect if a passing PUV is colorum or not. – Jovic Yee
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