Ever get those days where you seem to hit every red traffic light going? That could be a thing of the past as Audi has developed a system that ensures you only see green on your trips.
It's called the Traffic Light Assist and will let you know how long you've got before a light up ahead changes so you can adjust your speed to avoid being stuck at a red.
Using both live and predictive data beamed into the vehicle's navigation unit via onboard wifi, TLA doesn't need a single camera to tell you when the light is going to change. Local data sources provide information about traffic light patters, and the in car system uses that data and the motion of the car to predict exactly how long it'll be until the green light goes red.
'The goal of developers was to achieve the most efficient flow of traffic in metropolitan areas,' said Audi.
Audi claims the traffic light info online enables CO2 reductions of up to 15 percent.
Audi has been testing the system in certain cities across the world but as for widespread rollout it will depend on how happy local authorities will be to give Audi access to its traffic control information.
While we love the idea in theory, we can't help but imagine seeing a future of Audis suddenly going all fast and furious to race through the next amber gambler.
Virtual traffic lights help solve commuting hell
Your average driver spends a week each year stuck in traffic. So Ozan Tonguz, a telecommunications researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is looking to nature for an innovative solution to gridlock. His team is trying to emulate the way in which ants, termites, and bees communicate right of way in busy colonies and hives.
Tonguz's company, Virtual Traffic Lights, recently patented an algorithm that directs traffic at busy junctions. As cars approach the intersection, they use dedicated short-range communications to quickly exchange information on their number and direction of travel. The largest group of vehicles is given an in-car green light. Cars in the other cluster see a red light and have to wait.
As soon as the biggest group of cars passes through the intersection, the next biggest group is given the green light. Simulations over the past three years have shown the system could reduce commute time for urban workers between 40 to 60 per cent during rush hour.
The project has attracted $2 million in funding from private groups and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration since it began in 2009. The team is now working on algorithms that will take pedestrians and cyclists into account at intersections. Large-scale testing is due to begin next year.
Traffic Friendly Light
Ah, after ages we get to see a traffic light redesign and all thanks to the iF Design Talents! What we have here is the Smart Traffic Light. It uses LEDs and even hosts a camera for capturing street-view videos. They come handy in recoding traffic violations by motorists. The design is intuitive and the lights can be configured to show alternative signals.
Smart Light is a 2012 iF Design Talents entry.
Crosswalk Craziness: Traffic Light Comes With a Short Game
What do you do when you’re waiting to cross the street? Most of us look around, get lost in thought or maybe strike up a conversation with an attractive fellow pedestrian. At one awesome traffic light in Germany, walkers can fill those seconds with a short game of Pong against someone waiting at the opposite corner.
A small touchscreen device on the traffic light pole counts down the time left before the light changes. At the same time, it lets you control a paddle that bounces a virtual ball across the screen. Keep the ball from hitting the “wall” on your side while trying to hit the “wall” on your opponent’s side to win.
Perhaps it’s a safety measure to encourage pedestrians to wait at the corner rather than trying to dash across the street between cars. Or maybe it’s just there to add a bit of unexpected fun to pedestrians’ days.