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Traffic lights may add a fourth color in the future!


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In a hypothetical future where self-driving cars race our busy roads, traffic lights could have a proven fourth color in favor of these self-driving vehicles.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are proposing an optional white traffic light that will signal autonomous vehicle (AV) drivers to intelligently manage the next traffic intersection where congestion levels and overall fuel consumption can be reduced.

Self-driving cars and trucks will not need to “look” at the white light of a traffic light, because they will communicate with it wirelessly. However, this will serve as a signal to drivers and passengers that they should follow in the footsteps of unmanned vehicles moving through the intersection.

“Red light will still mean stop. Green light will still mean move. White light will tell drivers to just follow the vehicle in front,” says civil engineer Ali Hadjbay. we call “white phase” uses the processing power of autonomous vehicles.”

Self-driving cars will communicate with each other and with traffic lights at intersections within a certain range. This will allow them to more efficiently and intelligently coordinate traffic flow, such as prioritizing converging roads with a large number of vehicles and recommending the best speed.

Any driver in the mix will be told to follow the car ahead into a white light: stop if you stop, keep going if you continue. As soon as the number of unmanned vehicles at the intersection falls below a certain limit, the traffic light will return to its normal red-yellow-green variant.

It has been shown in simulations that self-driving vehicles improve traffic flow on their own, especially when the white phase has been introduced, which then has a positive effect on reducing fuel consumption. The higher the percentage of vehicles at the intersection, the faster the traffic, with an improvement of 40 to 99% in terms of overall delay reduction possible.

“Giving vehicles some control over the traffic flow is a relatively new idea called the mobile device control paradigm,” Haibai says. “It can be used to coordinate traffic in any vehicle-related scenario. intersections because it tells drivers that people know what’s going on, so they know what they should do when they approach an intersection.”

The researchers noted that once the number of unmanned vehicles at an intersection exceeds 30%, the improvements become even more significant. With 70% of vehicles in motion, the intersection can often operate in fully automatic white mode.

We don’t have the technology to do something like this yet, although improvements are being made all the time. This study builds on an earlier study by the same researchers in 2020, in which traffic flow was controlled by a central computer linked to an intersection – here the necessary calculations could be performed by the self-driving cars themselves.

Designing each intersection will, of course, take time and money, but the researchers believe that some aspects of the white stage idea can be implemented relatively easily. Beta testing in selected areas could be the next step forward.

“Ports are seeing a lot of commercial vehicle traffic, which is especially important for traffic flow,” Haibei says. in this place, which can benefit the movement.” Ports and commercial transport.

The study was published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Source: Science Alert

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