Smart Traffic Lights Could Actually Cut Harmful Car Emissions

They're being tested in the UK right now.

Imagine never having to encounter a red light ever again? Sounds bliss doesn’t it, and in fact a new set of smart traffic lights that are being tested in the UK could fulfil this wish.

The the traffic lights work by advising motorists and vehicles what speed they should drive at so they arrive at the next set of lights just as they turn green.

Engineering firm AECOM is developing the scheme to cut congestion and reduce vehicle emissions through more efficient driving.


It will be tested using a simulation model of the A59 in York.

The concept is one of five shortlisted entries in a competition launched by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Highways England and Innovate UK to create roads for driverless cars.

AECOM principal consultant Heather Hawkins said: “We are excited and are eager to get started so we can better understand the potential impact of vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies on our local road network in York.

“We are fortunate to be living and working in a city which has chosen to be an early innovator, deploying and testing these technologies on-street through existing research programmes. It’s truly inspiring and we are grateful to be a part of it.”

NIC chairman Sir John Armitt said: “We can see for ourselves the progress in developing cars for the future, with trials of driverless cars taking place across the country.

“We now need to make sure the technology on our roads keeps up.”

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “It is great to see novel technology like this being trialled.

“Stop-start traffic causes drivers to use their brakes more, which causes wear, and accelerate more, which can increase vehicle emissions.”


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