Thinking traffic lights to ease congestion

Japan plans to improve traffic conditions with a “smart” traffic control system which will have signals atuned to the congestion at nearby intersections and transfer traffic information about pedestrians and other cars to drivers through roadside sensors.


The traffic lights sensors detect the volume and speed of traffic. The information is then transmitted to other traffic lights nearby, allowing for the adjustment of their timing. Lights at an intersection are controlled by a LAN system and connected with other intersections, allowing them to receive information on every nearby vehicle heading for the intersection.

Meanwhile, real-time information related to nearby traffic conditions is transmitted to car navigation systems as an image or voice, with messages such as, “beware of pedestrians crossing the road” or “watch out for merging vehicles.”

The system, which should be introduced in several year’s time, will also warn drivers about potential collisions when there is traffic congestion ahead. And there are plans to equip the system to send warnings about speeding violations.

Via Daily Yomiuri. Photo.