Researchers from the University of Cambridge are developing sensors that can be mounted to lamp posts in order to monitor traffic.
As part of the Transport Information Monitoring Environment project, the university's computer lab has built a lamp post with facilities that connect the main building with a Wifi link and collates data via infrared sensors.
It is hoped that if their use became more widespread, the sensors could contribute to traffic management systems and provide long-term data for urban planners to use.
"Lamp posts are commonplace, physically robust, stationary and already have power available, making them ideal for building a dense network of sensors throughout cities such as Cambridge," commented research leader Dr David Evans.
The news follows reports that pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas have been given wireless pollution sensors to carry around with them in London, Leicester, Gateshead and Cambridge as part of government efforts to monitor air quality levels.