Traffic-light-free transportation design could allow twice the traffic using existing roads

Traffic-light-free transportation design could allow twice the traffic using exi

MIT researchers are working on a project to make red lights a thing of the past by suggesting that traffic-light-free transportation design, if possible, would allow twice the amount of traffic to use existing road infrastructure. MIT researchers have even predicted that traffic lights in the coming times will be replaced by intelligent intersections to control the urban traffic.

Researchers at MIT’s Senseable City Lab said that rather stopping for traffic lights, sensor-laden vehicles would communicate with each other and make sure no chaos takes place on roads. The study titled, ‘Revisiting street intersections using slot-based system’, published in the journal PLOS One, is based on a mathematical model.

Using the model, the researchers have examined a situation where high-tech vehicles use sensors to remain at a safe distance from each other as they move in a four-way intersection. The researchers came to know removing the red lights, the Slot-based intersections (Sis) speeds up the traffic flow.


Study’s co-author Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning said that when a system with a sophisticated technology and no traffic lights shifts control from the traffic-flow to vehicle level.

“Doing that, you can create a system that is much more efficient, because then you can make sure the vehicles get to the intersection exactly when they have a slot”, affirmed Ratti. Main aim of the project is to create a more consistent flow at an optimal speed, so that automobiles can keep moving.

A report from Gartner has found that by 2020, 250 million cars will be connected through the expansion of high-bandwidth wireless network infrastructure. But MIT researchers have agreed that there is a lot more work that needs to be done before they can do away with traffic lights.

There are many places where intersections with lights are often placed closer to each other. Such situations need to be studied to come up with an effective technology.


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