With the advent of Automatic Vehicles, changes to the roads are and will be taking place. One of them might be a fourth traffic light at intersections. A recently published study published in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems suggests that a fourth traffic light would help manage traffic better. The new addition has been suggested as white, but it has also been clarified that it doesn’t necessarily have to be, just a color that works practically.
An Innovative Study
The addition would be made to the existing traffic lights set up with the rest three lights functioning as usual. Ali Hajbabaie, corresponding author of the paper, explains that it would, basically, give some control over the intersection to the AVs. The new system is dependent on the computing power of the AVs in how they best navigate through traffic while communicating among themselves. The researchers have suggested a way out for a smooth launch of the new light: through minor adaptations in the overall design at specific locations. One of them is through commercial vehicles, as these have an easier adoption rate of autonomous vehicles.
How the New Apparatus Works
When an AV sees the white light, it would take over in that it would, in essence, control traffic, approximately mapping out the road network and maneuvering accordingly even down to the start and stop timing, saving time and fuel. This would help humans as they would just have to follow these vehicles on the way and not worry about anything else. These inferences have been derived after a test on a simulation using the white light. The test results showed that the white light helped traffic by a small but significant amount of time when there were about 30% of autonomous vehicles involved. As this number increased, so did the speed and flow of traffic, thereby helping better and faster functioning of the traffic lights improving the overall state of traffic.