Traffic Lights Communicating With Cars

Some of the worlds top automakers like Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, BMW and Mercedes are experimenting and testing WiFi technology and sensors that are more accurate than the GPS systems used in cell phones and combining it with traffic light technology to communicate with cars.

Using WiFi technology and sensors and position data technology along with traffic light communication systems technology, automakers are developing ways to provide easing traffic congestion, cutting down on emissions and increasing safety for both drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

To ease congestion, smart light systems are being developed to send signals of their light phases and changes to communicate to automobiles so that drivers could determine the next wave of green lights, keeping them on the go and cutting down on stopping and starting.

Volkswagen in cooperation with Siemens is currently testing this out and they hope to install this system in their autos next year. In the meantime, BMW and Mercedes are building into their autos the ability to determine by either counter technology or speed ratios, the information needed towards making the green light to help ease traffic congestion in the future.

The combined use of position data technology systems and WiFi technology and sensors, while assisting drivers in unnecessary stopping and starting, also will be cutting down on gas emissions which are highest when cars are idling.

Cooperation between these systems also will help to increase safety by making drivers more aware of pedestrians and cyclist around them. For instance, in current experiments in Germany, Volkswagens system, working with the traffic light technology, can warn drivers of pedestrians or cyclists on the left or right of them.

Then in Ohio recently, Honda tested out its ‘smart intersectiontechnology by installing a traffic light system with a 360°view at one intersection with the ability for a traffic controller to communicate any information to the driver via an onboard computer as to the position of a pedestrian or cyclist nearby.

And earlier this month, Ford unveiled technology that allows communication between cars going through an intersection, advising drivers to change speeds to avoid a collision if necessary.  Ford says it came up with this idea by observing people in a crowded mall maneuvering around each other to keep from colliding and suggests that perhaps someday there may be no need for traffic lights at all!