Amherst using new technology to monitor traffic flow


AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amherst has started rolling out new technology which looks to change the way traffic flows in the town.

The system, called Miovision, constantly monitors traffic flow at specific intersections and will change traffic patterns as needed.

“[Miovision is] a 360-degree camera at an intersection, and it basically replaces 1950s loop detector technology, so it changes the signal’s timing based on how much vehicle volume or pedestrian activity there is at an intersection,” explained Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa, who first introduced this project at his State of the Town last month.

Kulpa said Miovision also uses adaptive artificial intelligence so each camera can “talk” to another so it can make corridor-wide decisions.

“So if there’s back up at North Forest and Maple, and there’s a lot of traffic volume trying to come up Hopkins, the cameras can sync together and decide what’s the appropriate way to move traffic both on Maple and Hopkins,” he said.

Right now this system is only being used at the intersection of Maple and Flint Roads across from University at Buffalo’s North Campus. Kulpa tells News 4 he would like to expand Miovision throughout all of Amherst, but for some major intersections, such as Niagara Falls Boulevard, the town must wait for the state’s approval.

“Niagara Falls Boulevard is a state corridor. Main Street and Sheridan Drive are also state roads,” Kulpa said. “So we don’t have the ability to do this at the state intersections yet; we have to use the intersections we control.”

While Miovision will constantly monitor intersections, this is not like a stoplight camera, which tickets drivers for passing through red lights. However, if there is an accident where the technology is set up, police will be able to use that footage if needed.

Ultimately Kulpa said the goal of using this technology is to prevent stop and go traffic and start moving vehicles more efficiently.

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