Traffic light connected cars being tested by Ford 0

Traffic-light-connected-cars-being-tested-by-FordFord is currently trialling a new form of technology that eliminates its vehicles being stuck at red lights.

The system called ‘Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory’ uses data broadcast from roadside units that advise the vehicle driver on the best speed to travel at, to avoid hitting red lights.

Testing has already commenced on selected public roads, and test centres in Milton Keynes and Coventry. At present, the trialling of the new tech is expected to continue for at least the next two years.

The trials are part of Fords push on connected car technology, as it seeks to show off the benefits of the concept for UK Autodrive – the country’s biggest autonomous driving and connected car trial.

“There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction,” said Christian Ress, supervisor, Driver Assist Technologies, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.

“Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.”

Each year, it’s estimated that drivers in the UK spend up to two days in total sitting at red lights, and technology already exists in Copenhagen and Amsterdam to help cyclists avoid red lights, and if a stoppage is unavoidable, the tech tells them how long till the light turns green.

The Mondeo Hybrid cars produced by Ford are also experimenting with Emergency Electronic Brake Lights, which alerts the driver when a vehicle up ahead suddenly brakes hard – even if the incident happens out of view – as far away as 500 metres.

Ideas that will be trialled next year include: warning drivers when another vehicle is blocking the junction ahead; when an ambulance, police car or fire truck is approaching; and prioritises vehicles arriving at intersections without traffic signs or traffic lights.

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