Traffic is just the worst. I’ve often thought that if drivers could receive personalized direction, traffic jams could be mostly alleviated. Then again, I’m not a programmer, so I’d have no idea how to implement something like that. Luckily, there are smarter people than me with the same hatred of gridlock.
A team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has developed a new traffic light system that could be the traveling gamechanger we’ve all been waiting for. Tentatively named the Virtual Traffic Light system (or VTL), this system would project personalized contextual signals right into a driver’s windshield via a small heads-up display. Rather than flipping at specific intervals like a normal signal, the VTL’s AI algorithm would calculate when it is safe to make certain kinds of turns and advise the driver accordingly. No oncoming traffic? You’ve got the go-ahead. Car coming on the left? Hold off on that right turn. The team has given this system almost a million miles of road tests so far, and they have noted a surprising 60% decrease in traffic congestion and commute time. Obviously, something like this would be a nightmare to implement into society at large, but it could be a storm worth braving if it means no more red light clogs.