Ford Teaches Cars to Cheat Red Lights for Free Flowing Traffic

The vehicle-to-vehicle communication technologies currently being researched around the world pave the way to a motoring future no one could have imagined possible ten or twenty years ago.
Intersection Priority Management at work in the UK 1 photo
Photo: Ford
Cars that drive themselves, telling other cars and pedestrians alike all sorts of things about their mobility needs, are the way of the future, and we’ve already seen a series of extraordinary applications at work over the past few years.

But how many of us believed that V2V communication might one day render traffic lights obsolete?

According to a study by the website, British motorists spend on average a fifth of their driving day waiting at red lights, amounting to a total of two days wasted every year. That's burning fuel for no reason whatsoever.

But what if we could change all that? What if cars were able to announce they’re coming, so that each can adjust speed accordingly, avoiding both one another and the need to stop and let the other pass?

As part of the British Autodrive program, Ford is currently working on exactly such a technology. It calls it Intersection Priority Management (IPM) and is currently deployed on the streets of Milton Keynes in the UK.

The tech used helps cars broadcast their location, travel speed and direction of travel so that other vehicles in the vicinity can slow down or speed up so that they avoid a collision.

According to Ford, the system can identify an upcoming junction and the trajectory of other vehicles approaching it, suggesting to the driver the optimum speed that would allow all to pass through the intersection safely.

The goal of the technology is to reduce the number of stops and starts caused by red and green lights, thus reducing fuel consumption and saving drivers time. Autonomous cars could also greatly benefit from it.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
press release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories