Is there a Substitute for the Irritating Traffic Signals?

Can autonomous vehicles help provide a substitute for our vintage traffic signals?

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Traffic Signals
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia
  • There are two ways of managing traffic and congestion- traffic signals or roundabouts
  • South Carolina’s Clemson University professor and researcher Abdul Reza Fayazi thinks that automation vehicles can help provide an alternative
  • As we shall see, human volunteering is an important part of the solution

July 21, 2017: Needless to say that for many people, traffic signals can be an irritating part of the daily commute. With numerous cars on the road and the sad condition of the quality of roads, traffic and congestion are common to many places in India, particularly Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai.

Traffic signals are sometimes substituted by roundabouts. While the United Kingdom has decided to substitute their roundabouts for signals, the United States has opted to do the opposite. However, roundabouts are only suitable for low volume traffic.

A researcher and professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, Abdul Reza Fayazi believes that traffic signals could be eliminated, but it would require automated vehicles.

ALSO READ: This Dancing Traffic Man from Kolkata Makes People Smile!

The self-driven vehicle, which works on a Global Positioning System (GPS), will receive data on all vehicles directly from the server. Then, an optimal speed will be calculated by the system that will indicate that speed to the vehicle. This speed, if adhered to, will keep traffic smoothly running.

The problem with the above substitute is the lack of automated vehicles. Self-driven cars on the roads is still a long dream. A remarkable lesson learnt from Coimbatore’s ‘Green Corridor’ initiative (which involved cars moving at speed of 45 km/hr and signals arranged in a way that no car has to stop) is that signal free corridor is a possibility.

The benefits that popular cab applications Ola and Uber reap from their servers is that they get an optimum speed told to them, which helps them keep the car running smooth on the roads.

If humans adhere to the optimal speeds, the traffic situation will drastically improve in the country.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394