Traffic light that, based on the data from cameras, turns green when you approach an intersection, is quite common these days. However, testing of smarter road signalling technology is under way in the UK. The plan is to connect traffic lights with smartphones of drivers approaching an intersection, which should help determine te perfect time to turn the light green. This, in theory, should drastically improve intersection throughput.
The American company AECOM is behind the development of the technology. As we learn, AECOM lights will be able to communicate wirelessly (via smartphones) with vehicles as they approach them. This will enable them to provide time information and help vehicles determine what speed will allow the driver (or passengers in autonomous vehicles) to travel with a minimum of stopping at intersections. Reducing the stop and go traffic is environmentally friendly, as it reduces exhaust emissions and reduces brake wear.
"We can see for ourselves the progress in developing cars for the future, with trials of driverless cars taking place across the country; we now need to make sure the technology on our roads keeps up. […] The creativity and ingenuity of all the entries we received was very impressive, with many making the most of our existing network to prepare for these latest innovations. These five entries clearly stood out and I look forward to seeing how their ideas develop further over the coming months." said the NIC’s chairman, Sir John Armitt.
Other projects also use many interesting solutions. The FlexKerbs system presented by Arup proposes the use of kerbsides, the use of which would change depending on the time of day and the level of traffic. City Science examines how existing road sections can only be used for cars without drivers. Immense is exploring a combination of satellite navigation technology and artificial intelligence so that both ordinary cars and autonomous vehicles can re-route to avoid congestion.
It seems, therefore, that the United Kingdom is seriously preparing for the increase in the number of autonomous vehicles on the road. Since vehicle autonomy is developing extremely rapidly with the help of companies such as Tesla and Google, we should soon see attempts to create roads adapted to this technology in many other parts of the world.
Source: Traffic Technology Today