In the future, drivers may no longer have to spend countless hours waiting at traffic lights thanks to new technologies being developed by some of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
CNN reports that the likes of Volkswagen, Honda, Ford and BMW are all looking to develop technology that allows vehicles to seamlessly communicate with traffic lights in a bid to ease congestion, lower emissions, and improve safety.
Volkswagen is working with Siemens to make the technology a reality. The system uses WiFi and a range of sensors to produce position data which is more accurate than GPS. This system will help drivers avoid unnecessary stopping and starting, helping to cut down on the high emissions caused by stop-start traffic.
To develop the technology, the two companies have set up a section of road in Wolfsburg with 10 traffic signal systems that transmit information about their light phases. The car manufacturer says that the system will be able to tell a driver or a self-driving vehicle when to expect a wave of green lights.
“BMW have a counter, which counts down ‘5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 seconds’ to green, while Mercedes says ‘if you drive between 32 and 52 kilometers per hour, you’ll get green,” Franz Schober from the Siemens Connected Mobility System said. Volkswagen and Siemens technology also uses sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists.
The German automaker plans to start introducing the technology into its vehicles from 2019.
Honda’s technology has been previewed by four cameras mounted in each corner of an intersection. The information gathered by these cameras is then sent to vehicles with connected-car technologies.
As for Ford, it is in the process of developing advanced vehicle-to-vehicle technology which will allow vehicles to communicate with each other when driving through a crossroads.