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
RT @nickmcquire: Here’s my latest blog assessing #GoogleCloud’s #AI strategy on the back of its #LetstalkAI customer event last week in SF.…
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @GSMA: Finalising your entry for #GLOMOAwards 2019? In this video, Chair of the Judges @shauncollins shares tips to make your entry stan…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
@DaveLeeBBC Sobering thought...
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
Regulation of Facebook now seems inevitable but, for someone like Verhofstadt to say this publicly, is a symptom of… https://t.co/AKzCpaGo7T
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Good to see the UCI so firmly focused on the critical issues in cycling. Nothing to see here https://t.co/YG3NvU08KM
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
RT @aashenden: #accessibility is not a minority issue: #AI is bringing new possibilities to support both those of us with disabilities, as…
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
We’re going to see more of this as the conflict btw privacy & data collection for security purposes intensifies in… https://t.co/Zz7ekYca4K
Follow Nicholas
Angela Ashenden
@sharonodea @aunder @AndrewGrill @Geek_Manager Yes! Will try to find you at lunch!
Follow Angela
Kester Mann
CCS Insight’s mobile buying survey reveals willingness to trade in mobile phones and propensity to buy devices in n… https://t.co/C2rRaQss1D
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
@WeAreROLI Cheers guys!
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @benwood: P20 devices testament to Huawei's ambition in smartphone market. Consistently improving design, capabilities and appeal of its…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
A bleak but worthwhile read: https://t.co/mmAu2Ne3q9
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Google Cloud Ups Its Enterprise AI Game San Francisco Event Highlights Real Progress Google Cloud h... Read more
Blog Post
Amazon's Wireless Play with Apple Deal Underlines Amazon's Crucial Role As an Online Retail Ch... Read more
Blog Post
BBK Vies for Pole Position in Smartphone Market World's Second-Largest Smartphone Maker Puts the Heat on Sam... Read more
More blog