Jaguar Land Rover Learning to Talk to Traffic Lights
It's called Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, or GLOSA.
Imagine approaching a red light. But instead of guessing how fast you need to go to catch the green, you see a little light in the dash. 40 km/h, it says. So you slow down to 40. But the light’s still red. Just as you’re about to tap the brakes, it happens. Green light. Sounds like fantasy? Jaguar Land Rover is working on just that.
Jaguar says that the first traffic lights in the world were installed 150 years ago. Outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Since then, drivers just about everywhere on earth have spent billions of hours waiting for the light to turn. And how many collisions and tickets have ensued from somebody hitting the gas to try and beat that light?
It’s called Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, or GLOSA. It lets cars play mechanical Doctor Dolittle. You know, if they could talk to the traffic lights. Just imagine it. Chatting to a red or green, you see? Imagine laughing with a lamppost, prattling with a parking space. What a neat achievement that would be.
The system uses Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) technology. That puts computers in roadside infrastructure. Things like signs, warning beacons, other vehicles, and yes, traffic lights. Then everything is networked, allowing them all to communicate.
Letting you know the right speed to catch that light is just the beginning of it. See, not stopping and idling at a light, and not accelerating away from it, impacts air quality. It reduces CO2 emissions, improves real-world fuel economy, and reduces frustration. It can also help prevent red-light runners, or maybe even late-yellow sneakers. It can also help smooth traffic since cars can be moving more of the time.
The GLOSA system is being tested with other V2X traffic improvement measures. Like an intersection collision warning that tells you that yes, the car in the middle lane to the left at the intersection, the one you can’t see, is about to blow that red. So you can stop before you get T-boned. Or the red-light runner’s own car can see the red light and bring it to a halt safely before the stop line.
Jaguar Land Rover is even addressing parking, making connected parking spaces give real-time info and directing you to the best empty spot. Plus warnings for emergency vehicles approaching before you’re too late to get out of their way.
“This cutting-edge technology will radically reduce the time we waste at traffic lights. It has the potential to revolutionize driving by creating safe, free-flowing cities that take the stress out of commuting. Our research is motivated by the chance to make future journeys as comfortable and stress-free as possible for all our customers,” said Oriol Quintana-Morales, Jaguar Land Rover connected technology research engineer.
Jaguar is currently testing the system on an F-Pace crossover. Part of a £20 million government-funded collaborative research project. The GLOSA and other measures interface with the F-Pace’s existing driver aids like radar cruise and emergency braking.
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