Cars and traffic signals are talking to each other, leaving the driver — if there even is one — out.
Top automakers including Volkswagen, Honda (HMC), Ford (F) and BMW (BMWYY) are experimenting with technology that allows cars and traffic lights to communicate and work together to ease congestion, cut emissions and increase safety.
Volkswagen (VLKAF) teamed up with Siemens (SIEGY) earlier in October to test a smart light system in its German hometown of Wolfsburg.
The companies have set up a section of road with 10 traffic signal systems that transmit information about their light phases.
The idea is that the system will be able to tell the driver (or a self-driving car in the future) when to expect a wave of green lights. The goal is to eventually make the system work with a range of cars and brands.
BMW have a counter, which counts down 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 second to green, while Mercedes says ’if you drive between 32 and 52 kilometers per hour, you’ll get green,’ said Franz Schober from Siemens’ Connected Mobility Systems team.
西门子互联移动系统团队的弗兰兹.克博表示：“宝马汽车上有一个计数器，它能以5 - 4 - 3 - 2 – 1倒计时直到绿灯亮起，如果你以32 - 52公里的时速开着奔驰汽车，汽车会直接通过绿灯。”
Volkswagen will start equipping cars with the technology next year.
The network uses WiFi technology and sensors to produce position data than is more accurate than GPS, the location system used in smartphones.
The system will help cars avoid unnecessary stopping and starting, reducing the amount of gasses they emit. Cars produce more emissions when idling than when in motion.
The technology could also help improve safety by transmitting information about traffic conditions directly to the driver.