AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring

Megalith

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It’s only a matter of time until conventional pre-programmed traffic lights are replaced with smarter versions that will intelligently signal based on actual conditions, and this may be the first significant step. Getting to where you need to go faster is well and good, but I really like the emissions-reducing aspect of such technology.

Smith is developing smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. His startup Surtrac is commercializing the technology. In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has gotten impressive results. It reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent. ...The researchers also estimate that the system cuts emissions by 21 percent. It could also save cities the cost of road widening or eliminating street parking by boosting traffic throughput.
 

sfsuphysics

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Would love it. Hate so many lights in San Francisco which do not even have street sensors, the lights simply cycle on a timed schedule, so no one wants to cross perpendicular on a street that gets very little traffic? Tough shit, I'm making your light red because ... 30 seconds elapsed.
 

Tsumi

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Or worse, sensors that don't even work properly. Sensor says there's always a car on a side street when there isn't.
 

TechLarry

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It is utterly pathetic that we don't have this already. I can't count how many times I've sat at a red light at 3am with ZERO cross traffic to be seen.

The bad part: Yet something else to be insufficiently secured. and no one will take responsibility for it. Just imagine what hackers can do with this little nightmare. This gives them the power to quickly and efficiently kill people. Sadly, I believe it WILL happen eventually.
 

noko

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Look forward to this big time. Also this will probably save millions of gallons of fuel with cars not sitting at a stop light and no traffic going the other way for minutes! I think everyone has over and over again experience a light turning red and nothing is over there to go through the green light.
 

Tsumi

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AI would be useful for synchronizing traffic lights to aid the flow of traffic, i.e. green light at one intersection but long red at the one right after it.

As for the sitting around part... that is the city needing to get their crap together and get properly working sensors.
 

Palladium@SG

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It's only a huge improvement for the U.S because it is so behind in infrastructure; Singapore for example already have adaptive traffic lights for years.
 

Retronym

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Major Avenue - red light : 3 minutes
Adjacent side street to empty alley - red light: 8 seconds
 

madcap magician

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That's great. Now if we could get the chinese to cut their emission pollution down by say, 1% they could match the USA's emission output.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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article said:
Sophisticated AI algorithms use that data to build a timing plan “that moves all the vehicles it knows about through the intersection in the most efficient way possible,” Smith says. The computer also sends the data to traffic intersections downstream so they can plan ahead.

Complex interactive AI system my arse....

 

travanx

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Synchro and simtraffic are much more complex than that cheesey video of a few one way streets with no pedestrian traffic. Traffic signals could probably be timed purely on iOS and Android phone GPS signals at this point, but its still complicated.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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Synchro and simtraffic are much more complex than that cheesey video of a few one way streets with no pedestrian traffic. Traffic signals could probably be timed purely on iOS and Android phone GPS signals at this point, but its still complicated.

That "cheesy" video has been a way to set timings on streets in cities like Baltimore since the late 50's. The problem the timing is static and isn't re-calibrated with a new survey except every couple years.

Two way streets are not any harder. You process how many cars need to pass through the intersection to maximize flow. The light can be adjusted based on that. The only real AI is maybe identifying the number of cars and the type.
 
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az_max

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So what happens when the traffic light has a nervous breakdown and starts turning both directions green at the same time? Can it read lips? Do we have a new HAL 9000?
 

lcpiper

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Ahh, Megalith posted this. If it had been Steve who posted the article we would have been reminded that this is how Skynet was born :eek:
 
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