Researchers Explore Use of Virtual Traffic Lights
Connected vehicle technology image courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are exploring the use of connected vehicle technology to generate virtual traffic lights that reduce traffic congestion.
Such a virtual traffic signal, reflecting real-time traffic conditions, would be electronically displayed on a vehicle’s windshield as the driver approaches the intersection.
“When the driver is looking through the windshield, they’ll see that going straight is a green light and turning right is a red light,” explains Ozan Tonguz, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the university. “It’s a seamless process; the driver does not get involved in this decision making.”
The virtual traffic light would turn off once the driver passed through the intersection. A Carnegie Mellon University start-up known as Virtual Traffic Lights LLC is working on commercializing this patented technology for large-scale deployment in major cities around the world.
Virtual traffic lights have the potential to mitigate traffic congestion, reduce commute times, decrease the carbon footprint of vehicles, and lead to a greener environment, according to researchers.
To view a CNN video report on the project, click here.