Virtual traffic lights to help overcome commuting hell
A team of researchers are trying to replicate the way ants, termites, and bees communicate in busy colonies and hives, to solve the traffic problems faced by commuters.
An algorithm, which directs traffic at busy junctions, was recently patented by Virtual Traffic Lights a company owned by the telecommunications researcher Ozan Tonguz from Carnegie Mellon University.
As intersections approach, a dedicated short-range communications is used by the cars to quickly exchange information on their number and their direction of travel, New Scientist reported.
The biggest group of vehicles is given an in-car green light, while cars in the other group see a red light and wait for their turn.
After the largest cluster of cars pass through the intersection, the next biggest group is given the green light.
Simulations over the past 3 years showed that the new traffic light system can lessen 40 to 60 percent of commute time for workers during the rush hour.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and the private groups have given the project 2 million dollars in funding since it began in 2009.