A fourth color could be added to traffic lights in the future. The researchers propose to add white, which would be intended for autonomous cars without drivers. It is they who would participate in traffic management in such a significant way.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina suggest adding white color to the light signaling. This would be for cars and trucks that do not need drivers. They would communicate wirelessly with the main computer controlling the traffic lights, the portal reports Science Alert.
According to American transport experts, this could significantly contribute to the flow of traffic. They expect that the number of cars that are not driven by humans will increase in the future. The new concept called “white wave intersection” uses the computing power of autonomous cars to navigate and predict the traffic situation.
“The concept includes a new traffic signal to let drivers know what to do. Red lights will still mean stop, green go. And white lights will tell drivers to simply follow the car in front,” he said on website university scientist Ali Hajbabaie.
When a large number of autonomous cars approached the intersection, the computer would activate the white light. This will be important information for human-driven cars. When a white light appeared on the traffic lights, drivers would only have to watch the car in front of them.
If the autonomous car were to stop, the driver behind it would also do so. The moment he starts again, the driver can follow him. According to the scientists, this would make it easier to pass through intersections, and it would also save time and fuel.
At the moment when the majority of cars at the intersection were driven by people, the traffic lights would revert back to normal traffic and alternate between red, orange and green.
According to transport expert Roman Budský, car companies and infrastructure managers have a really difficult task ahead of them. “It’s a big topic in general, how to give instructions to autonomous cars. It’s starting to be solved. So that the signs are visible, they’re not rusted. We often have re-signs on the roads. They should also make sense,” said TN.cz.
“The basis is that traffic signs are relevant. But as French colleagues say, full autonomy will not happen tomorrow. It will really be a long way to go,” concluded Budský.
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