Happy 100th traffic light, with new connected car future

copdirectingtrafficToday is the 100th Anniversary of the traffic light. The first stoplight was in Cleveland, Ohio on the corner of Euclid and 105th. New technology could make the traffic light obsolete, more connected or even obsolete.

Researchers at MIT have developed ways to compute optimal timings for city stoplights to reduce travel time. Researchers at UR: BAN in Bruswick, Germany are devising a way for vehicles to “talk” to each other and to the traffic light control system.

Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are in the early stages of research in which, instead of putting the road signs on the road, interactive signs appear inside the car. The traffic light signals could wind up on the dashboard.

Some Audis have the ability to know when a traffic light will change.

There was also a time when traffic cops, directed traffic with white gloves in the middle of the street. Someday, a connected cloud algorithm could direct traffic or autonomous cars that look like bubbles.  The are a variety of ADAS features that can help make traffic more manageable. When the electricity or connections shut down, a good traffic cop can solve a multitude of traffic problems.