Traffic Experiments Featured Pattern: P0921 May 2016
Abstracts in this Pattern:
Traffic management needs to evolve to produce increases in the efficiency of transportation and of urban environments in general. Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico) ran computer simulations that suggest the use of autonomous vehicles would improve traffic-flow efficiency only by 7% and only in severe traffic. However, the researchers also found that the use of autonomous vehicles in combination with smart traffic lights could improve traffic-flow efficiency by 200%. In the simulation, smart traffic lights monitor all streets for approaching vehicles and give priority to the streets with the most traffic. This setup requires no communication between the smart traffic lights and the autonomous vehicles (beyond the vehicles' detecting whether the lights are red or green).
Traffic lights can also see use to encourage people to choose environmentally friendly forms of transportation. For example, the City of Rotterdam in the Netherlands has installed rain sensors at downtown intersections to give cyclists priority at traffic lights when rain is falling. The sensors halve the amount of time that cyclists have to wait at traffic lights in the rain, thereby encouraging people to ride bikes instead of drive cars.
Novel uses of technology in parking management could address social issues that relate to transportation. Disability nonprofit Dislife (Moscow, Russia) has developed a system that uses hologram technology to rebuke able-bodied drivers who attempt to park their cars in parking spaces for disabled drivers. The system uses cameras to determine whether an approaching vehicle has a disabled-parking badge on its windshield. If a vehicle lacks the appropriate badge, the system projects an image of a person in a wheelchair onto a thin water-mist-saturated airstream in the parking space. The projection of the person utters phrases such as, "Please find another place to park." According to a video about the system created by Russian advertising agency Y&R FMS (WPP; London, England), more than 30% of drivers in Russia disregard the painted signs on the ground and wrongfully park in spaces for disabled drivers. Dislife hopes its system will help address that problem.
The Development of this Pattern
Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico found that the use of autonomous vehicles in combination with smart traffic lights would improve traffic-flow efficiency by 200%.
The City of Rotterdam in the Netherlands has installed rain sensors at downtown intersections to give cyclists priority at traffic lights when rain is falling.
Disability nonprofit Dislife has developed a system that uses hologram technology to rebuke able-bodied drivers who attempt to park their cars in parking spaces for disabled drivers.
Experimental technologies are finding use in traffic management.
- SoC471 — Urbanization and Transportation (November 2010)
Increasing urbanization is likely to affect how people travel within cities, as well as how industries that provide transportation products and services operate.
- SoC540 — Mitigating Traffic (October 2011)
New approaches to decrease traffic jams and to mitigate several other negative impacts of transportation-related issues are under consideration.
- P0425 — Tackling Traffic Tantrums (December 2012)
New methods of relieving traffic congestion contain a novel mix of incentives and disincentives.
- SoC666 — Urban Mobility (July 2013)
Urban transformation will have an all-encompassing effect on mobility needs.
- P0654 — Navigating US Cities (July 2014)
The way people navigate urban environments offers levers for improvements in traffic management and public transportation, public-space design, and commercial activities.
- SoC748 — New Parking Paradigms (September 2014)
Novel approaches to parking are increasingly becoming part of traffic-management programs.
- SoC755 — Rethinking Traffic Infrastructures (October 2014)
A tighter connection between vehicles and infrastructure elements will enable a wide range of benefits.
- P0804 — Driverless Urbanity (July 2015)
Autonomous vehicles' effects on traffic-infrastructure space requirements could change the landscape of urban environments.