Adjustable intersections without traffic lights – the near future?

According to the Massachusetts Technological Institute, traditional traffic lights, invented back in the nineteenth century, are already outdated technology, and with the onset of digital vehicles, more intellectual devices should be engaged. One of the promising replacements of traffic lights is control systems with the allocation of temporary slots (similar solutions have long been used in aviation). Modeling the work of such systems for roads with cars has already been carried out, but fundamental scientific research that would theoretically substantiate safety and higher efficiency «Slot» technology compared to traffic lights, no. Specialists from MIT decided to make up for this gap.

As follows from the article published in the PLOS One scientific journal, to implement the management system with the allocation of temporary slots, there is no need to wait 10 or 20 years before the mass distribution of autonomous cars. WITH «drones», Of course, it is much easier to solve the problem, but even now, having equipped modern cars with special sensors and transmitters and adding a control and communication system to the intersection, you can also deprive traffic lights monopoly.



Researchers are invited to equip cars with devices that can exchange data with road infrastructure. When approaching the intersection of the car, the speed of movement will be assigned, adhering to which he can go to the intersection just by the beginning of his slot. «Chip» the technology is that the situation on the road will be analyzed in the complex, and cars that have «non -conflict» trajectories will be combined into groups and cross the intersection immediately «packs». Due to this, according to the attached calculations, the effectiveness of the passage of intersections will significantly increase. It is interesting that the intersection itself, for security purposes, will travel at low speed, and in most cases cars will be forced to significantly drop the speed at the entrance to it. But downtime due to the optimal organization of movement will be minimized.

As part of the study, the movement of one intersection was analyzed. In the future, scientists plan to conduct calculations for the network from several intersections. As for the application «Sliding» technology, not in all cases she can replace the traffic light. The question also raises the mechanism that will force drivers with different driving culture and human factor (the driver at the last moment may want to change the route) to adhere to the required speed of movement before the intersection. And what will happen if at such a cross there is a car without special equipment at all. So, perhaps in the coming years, such systems will appear on the roads, but not massively, but only in certain sections of the roads of some cities as an experiment. But with the onset of the era of autonomous cars, traffic lights can really be unnecessary.


  • BGR
  • MIT

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