All too often traffic lights don’t really cooperate and they stay on red for too long when there are no cars coming from the other direction, resulting in unnecessarily long waiting times. Under the heading Junction Analytics, TomTom proposes to remedy this by allowing traffic lights to communicate with vehicles to optimize the transition to red or green.
TomTom is not the first to experiment with such technology. The Audi Traffic Light system has also investigated ways in which you get a target speed – whether or not via the adaptive cruise control – that ensures that you always have a green light.
In general, traffic lights work according to two principles: fixed (with a certain and unchanging green and red phase regardless of the traffic) or adaptive (using sensors built into the roadway that measure traffic to adjust the light cycle in a more ‘logical’ way). to fit). A third existing alternative, the ‘green wave’, consists in switching the successive traffic lights to green in order, so that you can go from one intersection to the other in one go, while respecting the permitted speed, which reduces the traffic flow. good and reduce stress.
The Dutch navigation specialist TomTom presents its Junction Analytics. This system collects data from vehicles when they pass an intersection and makes it ‘transparent’. Of course, this only works with intelligent cars that provide over-the-air data through their internal system or a smartphone. The collected data can be used live by the traffic controllers to determine the traffic density and the waiting time as best as possible, and to adjust the order of red and green lights so that the time taken for a stop is as short as possible and there is no unnecessary traffic jams are created.
However, there are several obstacles to this ideal solution. First, there is the multitude of private or public traffic light operators. Then there is the problem of collecting data without violating privacy. And of course the inequality in the fleet, with still a large number of disconnected cars. However, the emergence of autonomous or highly assisted mobility, especially in urban or suburban areas, should accelerate the adoption of this type of technology.