Smart Traffic Lights Could Reduce Wait Time by 30 Percent

Sep 17, 2010
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Smart Traffic Lights Could Reduce Wait Time by 30 Percent

Traffic lights aren't all that bad. And cities all around the world have done their part to make it easier for drivers to get to one point, with a few wait times here and there. But, if you've been driving at "odd times" of the day, then you've probably learned that sometimes you won't always see the lights turn as quickly as you want them to. But, thanks to a couple of researchers, that could change in the near future.

Stefan Lammer of the Dresden University of Technology and Dirk Helbing of ETH Zurich have come up with an idea to make smarter traffic lights. Right now, our current light systems, at least here in the United States, utilize different things, like cameras, or sensors in the road, to even finding out the weight in the road. But, these new smart traffic lights would use sensors to figure out the expected number of oncoming traffic, and then figuring out the length in time each side would need to remain red to clear out the traffic on the other.

While it may sound like a longer wait time would come from this, it apparently reduces the general wait time from anywhere between ten to 30 percent. The researchers are only utilizing this in a digital landscape right now, but hopefully the funding will come through to get these smart traffic lights installed around the world.

[via Gizmag]


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