An automated intersection would speed drivers
through congested areas much faster, reducing
traffic jams. Credit: / Corbis


Analysis by DNews Editors
Thu Dec 6, 2012 10:10 AM ET

In preparation for a coming world of robot cars, engineers have created a robot traffic cop to get them through intersections faster and more safely.
Because such smart intersections would minimize human error, they would be safer than intersections are now, the traffic signal’s creators say. Intelligent crossroads would also save every car an average of 35 seconds of wait time per stoplight.

In their calculations, Hesham Rakha, a Virginia Tech engineering professor, and his doctoral student, Ismail Zohdy, assumed that everyone will be using robotic cars in the near future. “You will not be driving your car anymore; you will be driven by your car,” Zohdy said in a statement.

“We are not talking about the distant future,” Rakha said. Robotic cars are closer to reality than many may think, he and Zohdy wrote in a paper about their smart traffic signal. They cited some driverless cars under development now, including Google-made cars and research vehicles from Stanford University.

Read more: Robotic Car Intersection Takes the Wheel : Discovery News.

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