My idea which has been partially implemented by some State DOTs is to use existing intersection cameras, computers, and Fuzzy Logic to improve traffic flow through intersections. Making intersections intelligent would reduce opportunities for red light infractions, save energy by reduction of idle time and improve quality of life by reducing travel time by saving time and money. Using new or existing cameras software and programs augmented by Fuzzy Logic systems would analyze traffic approaching intersection and "decide" when to change or extend cycle time of lights. A preferred direction could still be allowed but if no traffic is detected in the preferred direction while a vehicle is detected approaching from another direction the system would detect the approaching vehicle and switch to green before requiring vehicle to stop and wait for light to be triggered or cycle. System would be able to keep count of vehicles from all directions and provide precedence for heavier traffic times instead of relying on rigid time cycles at different time of the day. Gaps in traffic could be detected and used to switch lights from green through yellow to red allowing plenty of stopping time thereby limiting accidents and injuries. One of the ways of solving red light violations could be an intelligent light system that reduces the opportunity to do a red light violation by reducing the amount of red light time. Experience with an intelligent traffic light system should result in experience allowing lengths of intersections to communicate status to later intersections aiding them in anticipatory response.
As mentioned some DOTs have partially implemented portions of this system but the cameras are not looking far enough through the intersection to provide adequate data. The goal of these systems seems to be replacement of under pavement sensing coils and not to increase intersection intelligence; on to provide a new solution to an old problem. We have the technology to improve vehicle flow through intersections scattered among various disciplines, what is needed it to bring them into focus on a problem.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: George Shaiffer
Type of entry: individual
George is inspired by:
Time wasted at intersections waiting for light change when there is no other vehicles present at intersection.
Software used for this entry:
Patent status: none