Forget red light cameras like Fort Lauderdale and many other Florida cities want to install. If anything, evidence has shown that they make traffic lights worse, as the cities or the contractors decrease yellow time to hand out more tickets. No, we want to see useful technology come to our traffic lights.

Thankfully, Germany has some innovation to offer in this area. As reported on Kicking Tires, Audi has partnered with the local government of their hometown Ingolstadt to make their traffic signals smarter. The signals themselves will adapt to traffic patterns to maximize the efficiency of the network. You know how cars seem to move in bunches, or platoons, from one red light to the next? I assume this system would give a green light for the platoon and wait until a gap to switch to red.

The signals are actually communicating with the cars, so they provide the optimal speed at which the cars should be driving to catch the light on green. Unfortunately, at this time it seems to just display the speed on a screen in the dash. The driver is ultimately responsible for whether or not he will follow the suggested speed. We anxiously await the day the vehicles and the traffic signals control the speeds independently. Just bringing the technology as is to this side of the pond wouldn’t hurt, though.

Photo from Kicking Tires.

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3 Responses to Intelligent Traffic Lights

  1. Kordor says:

    “The driver is ultimately responsible for whether or not he will follow the suggested speed. We anxiously await the day the vehicles and the traffic signals control the speeds independently.”

    You want the government to control the speed of the car, with no discretion to the driver? Do you also want the government aborting babies with Down syndrome?

  2. JM Palacios says:

    We want the cars to be fully automated. So essentially, that would be yes. The infrastructure would be controlling the speed of the car, much like computers control the speed and operation of the Metromover. It’s not about government controlling your speed. It’s about your car going from a dumb machine to a fully automated automobile that drives itself.

    No to the baby killing, though. Babies are not machines.

  3. Mom says:

    Kordor seems to think you have socialist tendencies. So is this really about government control or automation control? And where does man come in?

    Mom

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