Researchers: Self-driving cars could trigger a fourth white traffic light, or none at all

coming Self-driving cars Researchers say this could lead to a number of changes to road traffic laws, including a possible fourth traffic light.

Above the ubiquitous red, yellow and green colors, a white light could indicate that autonomous vehicles are in charge of the intersection. or Vehicles Maybe it could make the signals completely irrelevant.

Ali Hajibabai, an assistant professor of engineering at North Carolina State University, is among those imagining the future of traffic lights.

“When we get to the intersection, we stop if it’s red, we go if it’s green, but if the white light is active, just follow the car in front of you,” Hajibabai told The Associated Press.

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This undated photo provided by the University of Michigan School of Engineering shows vehicles traveling through the signalized intersection of Old Woodward Avenue and East Maple, which was retimed with the improved signal-as-a-service in Permian (Jeremy Little/University of Michigan School of Engineering via AP/AP Images)

An alternative could be red and green flashing lights, without the need for a white light.

He acknowledged that these changes could only happen after half the vehicles on the road became self-driving, but Henry Liu, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Michigan, believes that could happen sooner rather than later.

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“Pace artificial intelligence “Progress is very rapid, and I believe it is coming.”

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Researchers from the University of Michigan also received a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to test traffic signal changes in real time using speed and location data from cars.

Waymo car

Waymo’s self-driving vehicle travels along Masonic Avenue in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The university is conducting a pilot program in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham.

“The beauty of this is that you don’t have to do anything to the infrastructure,” Liu said, noting that Birmingham’s traffic lights operate on a fixed time and do not make adjustments to different traffic flows. “Data doesn’t come from infrastructure. It comes from car companies.”

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More than half of traffic signals across the country do not account for congestion or lighter-than-usual traffic such as in the middle of the night.

Although high-tech solutions for traffic monitoring exist, they require cities to make complex and expensive upgrades, Liu said.

The first “municipal traffic control system” appeared in Cleveland in 1914, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Initially, there were only green and red, with yellow light added a few years later.

Dr. Xingmin Wang

Dr. Xingmin Wang, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, visualizes connected car path data insights that help improve traffic signals. (Jeremy Little/University of Michigan School of Engineering via AP/Getty Images)

Since then, the traffic lights have not changed much.

While fully self-driving cars have yet to hit the market, companies like Tesla, Mercedes, General Motors and Ford are working to fill the gap, along with Waymo, the self-driving ride-sharing service owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

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“While it is good at this early stage of AV development that people are thinking creatively about how to facilitate the safe deployment of safe AVs, policymakers and infrastructure owners must be cautious about jumping in too early on AV investments.” Leadership, which may turn out to be beneficial.” “Premature or even unnecessary,” Waymo spokesman Sandy Karp said in an email to The Associated Press.

Karp noted that cars are running without a fourth light in select cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco.

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