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SignalGuru Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights 436

Posted by timothy
from the green-is-so-much-more-beautiful dept.
cylonlover writes "Researchers at MIT and Princeton have now devised a system, dubbed SignalGuru (PDF), that gathers visual data from the cameras of a network of dashboard-mounted smartphones and tells drivers the optimal speed to drive at to avoid waiting at the next set of lights." In their testing, the system saved drivers about 20 percent in fuel.
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SignalGuru Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights

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  • When I approach a red light, I don't continue driving and then stop, but start braking immediately and bring my speed down quickly. I then continue rolling at relatively low speed (with the shift stick in neutral, so the car doesn't brake on the engine). Often, I've still speed when the traffic light turns green. This works too if there are cars in front of you, but of course worse the longer the queue before the traffic light is, as they have to pick up speed.

    I've always been waiting for the time that my T

    • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nex[ ]k.org ['usu' in gap]> on Monday August 29, 2011 @05:33AM (#37239568) Homepage

      (with the shift stick in neutral, so the car doesn't brake on the engine)

      On a modern car this is bad for fuel consumption - in neutral, the engine is burning fuel to idle, but under engine-braking conditions the ECU cuts the fuel entirely. So if you used the brakes (wasting kinetic energy as heat) and then put the car in neutral to avoid slowing down further, you wasted a load of fuel. Better to just let the engine brake the whole way.

      • by miasmic (669645)

        Mod parent up - This is one of the most common misconceptions I've come across in any walk of life.

        Most people really don't understand the importance and value of engine braking in general, and believe the opposite of reality, that it's bad for the car and that it uses more gas. I am so sick of tailing behind people crawling down mountain passes, breathing in 6 months driving worth of their burning brakes.

        Using the engine to slow down saves gas and brake pads, and down steep hills is much safer as the c

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178)

        It's even worse if the car behind you has a different neutral speed (chance approx. 100%) and needs to either continuously brake or occasionally give some extra gas in order to not crash into you or slow down to the point where it stops too far before the traffic light.
        You might save your own fuel, but you're adding cost and being a pain in the arse for everybody else.
        Just drive normal; don't brake at the last moment and don't brake before you have to.

      • by cynyr (703126)

        By modern car you mean just about everything post 1990 without a distributor.

      • (with the shift stick in neutral, so the car doesn't brake on the engine)

        On a modern car this is bad for fuel consumption - in neutral, the engine is burning fuel to idle, but under engine-braking conditions the ECU cuts the fuel entirely. So if you used the brakes (wasting kinetic energy as heat) and then put the car in neutral to avoid slowing down further, you wasted a load of fuel. Better to just let the engine brake the whole way.

        True, but missing a sense of scale. The "load of fuel" used to idle an engine (at high vacuum) during the few seconds that you could engine brake before coming to a stop is rather small compared to the "load of fuel" that would be required to bring yourself back up to speed.

        If you want to be a hyper-miler, then kill the engine altogether anytime you are not using it for acceleration or cruise - I wouldn't advise this for most people, it's more important to focus on the traffic situation around you than con

    • Another way you can potentially safe fuel is by turning off the engine at red lights.

      http://www.slate.com/id/2192187/ [slate.com]

      The technology on the Prius that this article mentions seems interesting (automatically putting the engine in a sort of standby mode where you just have to push the gas pedal to start it again)

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        The technology on the Prius that this article mentions seems interesting (automatically putting the engine in a sort of standby mode where you just have to push the gas pedal to start it again)

        An lot of cars in Europe already have this (normal cars with no batteries in them, not just Prius). When you're stopped with your foot on the brake the engine switches off. When you lift off the brake to go for the accelerator it starts up again.

        • by cynyr (703126)

          how does that work in a manual transmission car? no really I like the tech, but i also really like manual transmissions, so i'm wondering if i can have both.

      • How do I keep the AC going when I cut the engine at red lights? It was 112 yesterday.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Battery perhaps?
          Unless you're stopping at the red light for a few hours, it shouldn't be a problem.

    • I've heard similar things suggested elsewhere, but is engine braking really avoided in the US? When I was taught here in the UK, engine braking was a primary method of braking the vehicle from any speed (you apply the brake while either remaining in the current gear or down shifting and letting each gear engage with no accelerator applied) and is used basically by everyone.

      • by Wowsers (1151731)

        Also here in UK, taught to take foot of gas and let the car coast as much as possible until you need to brake. This is not always possible as there are ALWAYS dickheads that have lead feet and are right up to your bumper (fender) because they want to get to that red light faster. If you can let the car coast then do so, also wastes less energy from not using the brakes until you really need to.

        Of course, that kind of driving to traffic lights may be different for [electric] cars with regenerative braking.

      • Most of us in the US own automatics (not me, haven't owned one in 25 years of driving), which makes engine braking hard. Although they have dual clutch multiple speed selector automatics now days, most people don't ever touch the gear selector except to go D, R or N.

    • by luder (923306) *

      I do this too, but it sucks when people behind you don't get it and go mad on you... And that's almost always the case.

    • I then continue rolling at relatively low speed (with the shift stick in neutral, so the car doesn't brake on the engine).

      To what advantage ? To get a rolling start ? You push it back into gear to drive off again ? Or to block people behind you... ? Maybe you're not used driving is very dense traffic conditions.. ?

      The usual action is:

      • See red light
      • You estimate distance and start to break on the engine (shifting down progressively without applying gas), this breaks you fluently (you don't cause a wave of h
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      You're still saving gas. When you're sitting still you're getting 0 mpg. If everyone drove lake that you and I could save even more gas, because we wouldn't have to stop for a green light because everybody else is in such a hurry to race to the red light. People don't seem to realize that in the city, being in a hurry won't get you there any faster. The real speed limit isn't what the sign says, but what the lights are timed at.

    • by todrules (882424)
      I hate it when people do this. It messes with the flow of traffic and makes it almost impossible for people trying to pull in from a side street. Just when you think that the cars are going to pass, and you can pull out, they slow down to a crawl, and you never get a chance to pull out because then the next wave of cars are able to catch up.
    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Working in traffic lights business, we got a problem with approach similar to yours.

      A smart system will synchronize lights for optimal speed on given section of the road. If you drive 50km/h as the regulations for this location say, you will stop at most once, then get green light on all crossroads along the way. But there's this long, straight section with bright traffic lights visible from a far distance.

      Nope, the problem is not assholes who speed to the next lights, then stop, then race again.
      It's regula

      • by jittles (1613415)

        This may be the case where you live, but the City of Fresno, California was sued by the EPA a few years ago for artificially slowing down the speed of traffic. They timed the lights so that, if you exceeded the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour, you could catch every light green. Otherwise, you caught every light red. They then had motorcycle officers waiting to catch you speeding.

        The EPA caught wind of this and sued the city, indicating that the city was intentionally increasing smog in order t

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Oh, one more problem with your approach: Low traffic on a crossing with adaptative lights.

      In case of two roads of similar level of traffic, the default program type is "AllRed". Meaning, by default if there is no traffic, all directions get red signal, so a car approaching from any direction will get green before they reach the crossing, without waiting at all.

      First detectors are located 50 and more meters from the crossing, and as soon as a car is detected, the green signal sequence for that direction star

  • Terrific! What would be the effects of a 20% fuel savings in town?

  • My iPhone told me to NAIL IT....can you give it the ticket?
  • It won't work here (Score:4, Informative)

    by rust627 (1072296) on Monday August 29, 2011 @05:35AM (#37239574)

    In the interests of efficiency, most lights here in Melbourne have been converted to a triggered system.

    The idea is that the main road (determined by some guru in a government department) has right of way and light changes are triggered by cars moving over sensors at the stop lines of the red lights, in some cases (though not all) they can detect 2 cars per lane. Of course the habit of many drivers to sit back a good car length from the stop lines often means that they do not get close enough to the coils in the road to properly trigger them and as a result you get a few drivers saying"to hell with it" and running through a red light after waiting for 10 minutes. It is really funny to then see the lights change a matter of moments after, in response to the car driving over the sense coils in the road.

    The result is that there is no correct speed to catch the green light because there is no direct coordination between lights.

    • In Zurich, the urban planners are proud of their ability to force drivers to hit as many red lights as possible. They feel this will discourage people from driving in town, and somehow reduce pollution. Whether the net result of all those cars accelerating and braking all the time is actually better is another discussion, but if they ever thought that a system like this was becoming popular (thwarting their carefully annoying design) they would adjust somehow.

      In case you are wondering, this is not my imag

    • Unfortunately since the cars still need to stop in order to not run the red light before the trigger changes it, the car still needs to stop. Still better than "timer only" systems.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)
      I think in city traffic most roads are too busy for this kind of arrangements. I've seen this it a lot in The Netherlands, but only in rural areas. And particularly at night.
    • Of course the habit of many drivers to sit back a good car length from the stop lines....

      Where I live, we have a different problem. It seems that many drivers don't understand what the big, thick white line at the intersection means; nor do they understand what the set of thin, spaced lines well beyond that point means. Far too many drivers here invert the meaning of those two symbols, and end up stopping just beyond the thin line closest to the intersection.

      This is particularly common for drivers in the left turn lane, which is particularly problematic for drivers trying to make a right turn, and for perpendicular traffic trying to avoid clipping the moron in the left turn lane.

    • It might work even so. The predictions are done in real time, using sensing data gathered by an iphone camera mounted in the car. As long as the triggering wasn't hugely irregular, the predictions would probably still be accurate enough to be useful. The paper did mention that they tried it with both fixed-timing and predictive-timing systems, and it worked equally well on both.

  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Monday August 29, 2011 @05:37AM (#37239586) Homepage
    For as long as I can remember, I've always said that if the United States wanted to be serious about fuel consumption, that it would install roundabouts throughout it's cities.

    The cost of the infrastructure switchover would be offset by the savings to tax payers in no time.

    The government wouldn't like this because it means more money spent on infrastructure and less tax income from gasoline. In the end, less money fed to the machine.

    It's good to see hackers like this out there trying to (and succeeding) in subverting the elite.
    • Roundabouts are great, but when there's a lot of traffic, there actually worse than traffic lights, so they're not a panacea.

      • by MrDoh! (71235)

        Which is why you have dual roundabouts/traffic lights. Traffic flow light to moderate, let the roundabout self regulate. Rush Hours, you let the traffic lights direct.
        Best of both worlds.

        • True, but keep in mind that only works on the bigger ones.

        • Um, no. I've seen those in place. Worst of both worlds. Load them up under traffic, and only one entering direction can operate at a time. (Instead of opposing directions, like in a standard traffic light.)

      • That depends on a lot of factors. I'd guess that in a heavy traffic situation, a roundabout will still be better overall than traffic lights in terms of congestion. The problem is that it's much more difficult for a driver to navigate safely, given all the information that has to be processed, and in some cases, the bravery needed to use a gap in the traffic.

        I used to have to drive through Aberdeen's Haudagain roundabout [wikipedia.org] on a regular basis, so I know how much of a nightmare it can be!

        • Another thing to consider is that assuming people yield to traffic on the roundabout* then entrances immediately after popular exists will end up prioritised over other entrances. Depending on the importance of the various feeder roads that behaviour may or many not be desirable. With traffic lights the planners can control the priority of different entrances to try and avoid gridlock.

          Also afaict if congestion backs up onto a roundabout it will completely freeze the roundabout whereas other junction types m

      • The city of Gainesville, Florida, has installed a dozen or so roundabouts... drivers here have no clue what to do with them, 50% approach them according to roundabout rules, the other 50% approach them as if they are some kind of four way stop - you would think that this would improve over time, but over the last 5 years, it has not.

        The installation pattern here seems to have nothing to do with improvement of traffic flow, here it seems more geared toward creating a speed reducing obstacle in an otherwise p

    • Re:Roundabouts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrDoh! (71235) on Monday August 29, 2011 @06:22AM (#37239736) Homepage Journal

      They're installing 'traffic circles' in a few places in Miami now and they're making a mess of it.

      A). No-one knows what todo at a roundabout. Both approaching it, and whilst on it. Whilst I've been on a roundabout, I've had people hurtling into my path. As I'm waiting for someone to pass in front of me, they stop in the middle of the roundabout and try to wave me on. (I'll let the fact that no-cars appear to have indicators in Miami go amiss...) Actually, no I won't let it go amiss, as it continues with lack of education that when there IS a roundabout, no-one ever gets the correct positioning it appears. Luckily, it's usually single lane roads, but the occasional 2 lanes feeding into it? NO-ONE gets into the correct lane for their turning (and I recall plenty of public service announcements in the UK to drill it home). So, education of what' they're trying to achieve needs to be implemented.

      B) They have STOP signs AT the roundabout in many places. Apparently the city wants them, but the county has different rules, leading to Yield/Stop signs next to each other, not helping people learn what's supposed to actually happen. (Sure this part will be resolved shortly, but it's confusing everyone who's first experience of a roundabout is this).

      C) Some places (key biscayne), they've filled the middle of the roundabouts with beautiful plants. That in Miami climes, grows RAPIDLY. Many roundabouts now, the vision is blocked horribly on your exit. There's going to be accidents, and it'll be totally avoidable..

      D), Some states have no 'right of way' rule. Florida for example, if you're on a roundabout, you don't have right of way, no-one does. If you have an accident of someone plowing into you from the side, they may be able to fight in on court that you crossed their path. (never underestimate the power of lawyers to make a further mess of something). "He drove in front of me!" "yes, I was on the roundabout" "this court doesn't recognise a roundabout as a valid traffic item'

      E) They've done a great job of building roads in the US, but without any though for the placement of a roundabout. Retro fitting them in some places is making some odd designs. (that probably just need a single stop sign, and a yield in the other direction, but no doubt funds are already appropriated)

      F) And, like many other places, they put crossings RIGHT on the nearest part of the road, that with the amount of Flora previously mentioned, and the requirements to give way to pedestrians crossing, no indicators, no education on how to drive round a roundabout, means there's going to be issues.

      G) odd planning. To place a roundabout at a junction, requires the 4 homes on each corner to give permission. If anyone disagrees, it won't be built (at least that's how I'm understanding it in Coral Gables). Many, not understanding what it's about, say no. The next junction, all the people may allow it. Leading to a confusing road journey filled with Stop sign, roundabout, roundabout, stop sign, roundabout, yield, roundabout with a stop sign, stop sign, roundabout. With some roads having more, some less. If you're going to do it, at least be consistent.

      So, when I'm a passenger in a car and the driver encounters a roundabout and starts cursing that it's a terrible thing, and that they cause accidents, and don't improve traffic flow, I mumble under my breath "yeah, but only in America it appears..."

      • You missed H) Miami's population has an unsettling number of senior citizens, many of which are particularly good at handling situations they are familiar with, let alone new ones. I would say the choice of Florida as a state to test things out on, is a direct intent to say "we tried and it failed let us never try again".
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        D), Some states have no 'right of way' rule. Florida for example, if you're on a roundabout, you don't have right of way, no-one does.

        Uh what? When you're on a roundabout, from a legal standpoint, you're going in a straight line. Someone entering the roundabout is turning. No new law is needed. Well, maybe in Florida, where the median age is approximately dead...

      • You misunderstood me, I love roundabouts! Roundabouts are great, and people around here (Lisbon, Portugal) tend to use them correctly. It's just that when there's really _a lot_ of traffic, they get locked up much more easily than a junction with traffic lights, since changing lanes to get to the right one in order to turn away becomes difficult. Mix in some people trying to cut ahead, and it becomes almost completely locked up pretty fast.

    • i've always said "dont drive down this street, theres a fucking roundabout and every time you go into it, someone just about kills you. whoever the fucking idiot is who put that roundabout in obviously doesnt live on planet earth. they should have built more bicycle lanes and made it easier to walk around the city instead of this bullshit"

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        I guess it depends.
        I live in the Netherlands, where a lot of traffic lights have been replaced by roundabouts and it improves the flow of traffic a lot. I've rarely had dangerous situations, in fact the false sense of safety that a traffic light gives is probably more dangerous. Atleast you're paying attention when crossing a roundabout. With traffic-lights people just floor it whenever they get a green light, regardless the idiot that just crossed a red light.

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      Besides saving fuel, there is a entangled issue of losing time in traffic because of slower speed (reminder: time is money).

      Would I ever see the study in my lifetime that links those two issues?

  • Couldn't the same processing power and communication be used to avoid the need for traffic lights completely?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes it could ... if drivers scrupulously respected the indications of the magic box on the dashboard.

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday August 29, 2011 @05:56AM (#37239662) Homepage

    Instead pf reverse engineering the traffic lights timing, the responsible offices could simply document them, also on road signals.
    All the stuff needed to reverse engineer the timings will produce more CO2 than simply say them.
    Nonetheless, that idea is really smart.

  • by javilon (99157) on Monday August 29, 2011 @06:17AM (#37239720) Homepage

    If you look at all the available safety systems coming in the next generation of cars:

    - automatic braking
    - infrared night vision
    - reverse backup sensors
    - adaptive cruise control
    - lane departure warning systems
    - traction control systems
    - electronic stability control
    - emergency brake assist
    - cornering brake control
    - precrash system
    - automated parking

    It is just a couple of steps away from turning you into a mere supervisor of your car's automatic driving.
    If you add fuel efficiency to the safety concerns, it will add a new set or constraints that will give automatic driving an advantage over human driving.

    • you can find advertisements from the 1980s about radar systems warning people about stuff behind them.

      in reality, the cheap models of cars will not have any of that stuff, in order to keep the price low.

      that is almost a necessity in this new age, where the distribution of wealth has become so uneven, where you have 9% unemployment measurements (and much higher in reality) , tens of millions of people on food stamps (a historical high), where minimum wage is not enough to live on, let alone buy a car, and mo

      • in reality, the cheap models of cars will not have any of that stuff, in order to keep the price low.

        Right up to the point where they're required by law to have them, like seat belts, air bags and antilock braking systems (required in the EU and will likely be required here in a few years).

      • They had stripe following demo vehicles in the 1950s. Look far enough into the future, and the "cheapest" cars will be the ones that drive themselves - drivers will pay a premium for manual control. Actually, I think right now we are all paying the premium for manual control, already the "system" (counting roads, signals, vehicles, garages, etc.) would be cheaper overall if every vehicle were automatically driven. Today's tech can handle 100% automated vehicle traffic, what it can't handle is mixing auto

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      Great. That will bring to the road even more idiots slowing me down when I am just five minutes after traffic hours trying to make it to the meeting I am overslept.

      How about going draconian on would be drivers in traffic schools, drive tests and written tests? How about devising a system PREVENTING bad drivers to EVER step on the road?

      How about acknowledging that there are far more people who will never be able to drive adequately that we know?

      How about stopping yapping about how driving is not right, but a

      • by xMrFishx (1956084)
        How about just giving all you Americans the UK driving test. Hardest one around, so I hear. The only thing it is missing is the Finns "ralley stage" driving on ice/snow. Though we don't have much of that to test us on.
    • by CODiNE (27417)

      Wonder how the class divide and inability to buy a new car will affect that vision.

    • The biggest problem I see for an auto-drive system in normal driving (accident handling has it's own set of problems) is going from the combination of a rough map, a rough position indication (according to wikipedia ordinary GPS currently has an accuracy of arround 20m) and visual clues to successful junction navigation (particually at junctions with lots of exits packed close together).

      Maybe i'm a pessimist but this isn't a problem I see being solved without adding infrastructure on the ground to provide a

  • Its been tried (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday August 29, 2011 @06:36AM (#37239766) Homepage Journal

    tells drivers the optimal speed to drive at to avoid waiting at the next set of lights."

    The problem is that the speed to travel at to not stop at the next set of lights could be 12 km/h or 1.5 times the speed limit. It is hardly ever a speed you are actually going to travel at. We had a system in Melbourne which did this. They had to change it to not display a speed above the speed limit and then the displays showed stupidly low speeds.

    • So you can drive very slowly to the next light and not wait or you can drive there quickly and then wait. Either way your average speed is going to suck.

      If that is happening on the main road through an area then someone really needs to fix the timing of the lights so cars on the main road can proceed along it at a reasonable speed without having to stop (granted this can become difficult in areas where there is no one "main road")

      • Say the speed limit is 60km/h and to get a green at the next intersection you have to travel at either 61 km/h or 12 km/h. Few car drivers will choose the lower of those two values.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      In that case I'd say the problem lies with the timing of the traffic lights themselves. The village where my parents live had a "green wave" for the main road well over 30 years ago already. At the beginning of the village they just put a sign "green wave at 50 km/h" (which is the speed limit), and the traffic lights were timed in such a manner that you would only have to wait for the first light (or, if lucky, not at all). After that continue at 50 km/h and a minute or two later you've passed half a dozen

      • Melbourne obviously had their traffic lights timed in a manner that only with extremely high or low speeds you could catch the next green. Instead of timing them to match traffic moving at normal speeds.

        The road system is a grid and the system attempts to link the signals in all four directions. But outside the "green wave" there will be at least two solutions for getting the next green. One will be above the limit and the other will be very low.

    • While we don't have such a system in my city (London, Canada), if you do 10km/h over the speed limit, you hit many more green lights. I think they're encouraging speeding to make more money off fines.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday August 29, 2011 @07:14AM (#37239882)

    Don't forget: when you're perfectly synchronized with the traffic lights at 30 mph, you are also at 60 and 120 :)

    • when you're perfectly synchronized with the traffic lights at 30 mph, you are also at 60 and 120 :)

      Not really, but I do know for a fact (having learned while working in the FDOT district 6 planning office, and personally experienced first hand many times) that the lights on US1 in South Dade county (Miami) are synchronized well above the speed limit in the direction of rush hour traffic flow. Speed limit is mostly 45, but if you can manage to keep moving at an average speed of 55-60 (sometimes 65), you can get green lights all the way from Homestead into Downtown. Having lived there for nearly 20 years

  • Instead of saving 20% in fuel, why don't we rip up most unnecessary lighted intersections and replace them with roundabouts. The initial cost would be high, but the fuel savings for ALL cars will recover that cost in a few weeks.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Well they could always skip the roundabouts, and instead properly time the lights to speed. I mean in my home town the lights are set so poorly that it takes longer to drive from one end to the other on a busy friday, than it does to drive 35km on the highway. I'm almost sure it's deliberate, either that or it's incompetence from city engineering.

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Monday August 29, 2011 @07:37AM (#37239960) Homepage Journal

    Roads are not for "saving" on fuel or brakes. Roads are for getting from A to B.

    You selfish "saving" on fuel leads to you occupying extra road time-space. You are basically hogging it, take it from other drivers, which leads to heavier traffic, in fact, very often it will lead to creation of extra traffic jams.

    Instead of that technology, they should invent technology that will get medieval on the asses of those local government official who intentionally program traffic light system to slow drivers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dunkelfalke (91624)

      Insightful my fat arse.
      Aggressive drivers who try to get from A to B as fast as possible cause traffic jams. Drivers who flow with the traffic don't. That technology is made explicitely for a smooth traffic flow.

      • by Nimey (114278) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:28AM (#37240702) Homepage Journal

        What really ensures smooth traffic flow is for everyone to be traveling at about the same speed, with no idiots getting right on someone's butt then hitting the brakes. When they do that, it sets up a standing wave where everyone behind the idiot has to slow down.

        I try to do my part by acting as a low-pass filter: when I see people up ahead of me slowing down, I let off the accelerator and slow down gently so that nobody behind me who's paying the least bit of attention has to hit their brakes, thus removing the standing wave.

        Obviously this can't help when you've got at-grade crossings when people will stop to wait for traffic so they can turn left, but it's a good general rule.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mapkinase (958129)

        The only reason for "aggressive" driving during traffic hours are idiots who DO NOT "flow with the traffic". Because of them now the traffic (which you call "aggressive") flows around them causing extra speeding diff between lanes, extra lane changes.

        As for speed. The higher the speed, the better the smooth traffic flow fixes the problem of jams, because of the extra space that the car takes from the road. At the same 3 sec interval you will take more time-space on the road at lower speed, because larger pa

  • You don't really have that much leeway in how fast you drive. Sure 5 above or below the speed limit is fine, but anything more and you will be pulled over at some point.

  • IT seems the idiots here think drag-racing from light to light make it faster. it turned green! FLOOR IT!

    Until they either increase the requirements to have a drivers license this green light trickery will be ineffective as all the nimrods will bunch up in front of you causing traffic delays and negating getting a green light. It's why I stopped all hypermiling tricks in town, all the other drivers drive like idiots.

  • OK, now can they combine the data with the data from Trapster so you can know when it's worthwhile to EXCEED the speed limit in order to break out of a holding pattern where you're driving against the timing-optimized direction of traffic and would otherwise end up hitting every single red light? When I drive to work in the morning, about 3 miles of my trip goes against the direction FDOT optimized the timing. If I follow the speed limit, I'll hit every light, every inch of the way, every time, guaranteed.

  • Around here the only way you're going to be able to avoid red lights is by speeding excessively; it's like traffic lights have been set up to penalize anyone driving at or near the speed limit. It seems like American traffic engineers solve every problem by adding more traffic lights, stop signs and slowing drivers every chance they get.

    Roundabouts are great, but they're far from being a panacea and Americans are going to have to change their driving habits too. Americans are too self-righteous and too comf

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Monday August 29, 2011 @08:56AM (#37240428)

    Put more sensors and "intelligence" in the traffic lights and let people drive around as normal.

    Traffic light systems are really stupid, last night I was driving home at 2am and came to some traffic lights, they changed to red and there was no other cars around.

    • Put more sensors and "intelligence" in the traffic lights and let people drive around as normal.

      You've got that completely arse about.

      Put more intelligence into the drivers so they stop doing stupid things. People thinking that doing 80 (Kph) in a 60 zone is normal are the problem, not traffic lights. In the vast majority of cities traffic lights and speed limits are designed to work together to ensure traffic flows correctly, when Dingbat McHoon drives at 90 in a 60 zone he is the problem, not the traffic lights.

      Driving is somewhere where the Dunning-Kruger effect is very obvious.

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