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A small town is piloting an experimental traffic light control system aimed at improving emergency vehicle response times. To help emergency vehicle drivers pass traffic lights more quickly, devices have been installed on traffic lights as well as embedded in the town’s emergency vehicle navigation systems (police, fire & ambulance). The traffic light devices use Radio Frequency (RF) signals sent from the in-car devices to identify each vehicle. When authorised in-car devices are manually triggered, those traffic lights within range which govern the vehicle’s forward motion are signalled to, as quickly as safely possible, switch to green. An alternative system has also been proposed where traffic lights are instead controlled by a centralised computer dispatch system. Under the centralised system, emergency vehicles are viewed on a Geographic Information System (GIS) which shows their location on a map alongside other spatial information such as traffic conditions.
Discuss one advantage and one disadvantage of operating the traffic light control system from a central computer dispatch system in contrast to a driver controlled (distributed) manual trigger system.
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