A World without Traffic Lights

Can Cities Really Get This Smart?


In a world where everything's connected, Ford's vision just might work. The car-maker envisages a future in which connected cars could coordinate their own movements, passing through intersections without ever having to stop. It's a silky smooth, futuristic concept.

Ford points out that traffic lights are the cause of 60 percent of road accidents, and that safety can be vastly improved by implementing new technologies. To demonstrate this, Ford showed off its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system on the streets of Milton Keynes in the UK. The technology alerts drivers to slow down or accelerate to avoid a collision with cars approaching from other directions.

Ford's Intersection Priority Management technology is being tested as part of the government-funded UK Autodrive programme, which aims to help drivers avoid unnecessary stops at junctions, easing traffic flow and increasing safety and efficiency. The project also showcased other technologies including Intersection Collision Warning, which warns drivers of potential accidents when approaching an intersection, and Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, which helps cars to synchronise with nearby traffic lights.

For the trial, cars equipped with V2V technology share their location, direction of travel and speed, and software analyses the trajectory of nearby vehicles and suggests an optimum speed for each car to negotiate the intersection without stopping. The vehicles have drivers behind the wheel, but the goal is that autonomous cars will one day benefit from the technology.

Other automotive companies are also testing communication systems for connected cars. Honda, for example, is trialling a Smart Intersection system in Marysville, Ohio that uses vehicle-to-everything technology (V2X) to connect cars with cameras mounted on buildings and posts. The company believes the better vantage point of cameras will allow drivers to virtually "see" around corners and avoid accidents.

Systems like the ones being demonstrated by Ford and Honda highlight the promise of V2V and V2X communication in creating a world where cars are more aware of each other and their environment, enabling intelligent cooperation and collaboration on the roads.

To implement this intriguing smart city concept on a large scale, the infrastructure will have to be in place. We don't doubt that the enabling factors are all on the drawing board to bring this to fruition, but it will take a great deal of coordination between municipalities, car-makers, network operators, insurance companies and, most importantly, acceptance by consumers, to get this show on the road.

Nonetheless, Ford should be applauded for this vision. As we've consistently stated, smart city and autonomous driving initiatives need to be considered in unison given the need for cars to seamlessly interact with their surroundings, and vice versa. Connectivity is a crucial component that much of the automotive industry continues to overlook as the first generation of self-driving vehicles is delivered exclusively using on-board cameras and sensors. Fifth-generation networks will be the ingredient that augments that capability and better integrates vehicles with their environment.

This entry was posted on October 17th, 2018 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or you can leave a response.

Posted By Raghu Gopal On October 17th, 2018


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Omron's HeartGuide is the latest device to blur the line between wearables and healthcare devices:… https://t.co/3LWlGszMUL
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @MarinaKoytcheva: Worth watching this session on the outlook for the digital economy at #WEF19 It may not be a humble thing to say, but…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Anyone aware of any stats from insurance companies (or elsewhere) on the incidence and cost of damage caused by wat… https://t.co/oSHDofLM3q
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
Very useful briefing just now from brett Francis @AWS on the #IoT announcements from @AWSreInvent . Good to see how… https://t.co/WoG7cFA84J
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
The only thing more incredible than the 10,000 employees Amazon has dedicated to Alexa is the speed at which it’s g… https://t.co/01bxzJ4w2m
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
Worth watching this session on the outlook for the digital economy at #WEF19 It may not be a humble thing to say, b… https://t.co/qp2ZSaKDuP
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Major steps in the vital march towards #mobileEdge & #CloudComputing. An important partnership from #IBM &… https://t.co/UzmddHXwSG
Follow Nicholas
Kester Mann
RT @MarinaKoytcheva: Worth watching this session on the outlook for the digital economy at #WEF19 It may not be a humble thing to say, but…
Follow Kester
Angela Ashenden
.@slackhq has a new Chief Product Officer, Tamar Yehoshua (ex-Google) to go with its new logo: “A heartfelt thank y… https://t.co/gQVxmYpqTZ
Follow Angela
George Jijiashvili
@StewartMitchell Sure - feel free to DM me if easier.
Follow George
Katie Taylor
The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of: how more fibre could prevent disease-related deaths https://t.co/N1P9QfNBr8
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
The Right Cuff Omron's HeartGuide Tries to Steal a March on the Apple Watch... Read more
Blog Post
Microsoft Links Up with Walgreens Changes Loom over US Healthcare Market Last Tuesday, Micros... Read more
Blog Post
Fossil and Google Sign Licensing Deal Fossil to License "Advanced" Smartwatch Tech to Google Goog... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Virtual Reality Device Market Declines in 2018 But Outlook Remains Positive Research firm CCS Insight forecasts 8 million virtual realit... Read more
More news