Innovative Ford technology offers an alternative to traffic lights (Topic)

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Innovative Ford technology offers an alternative to traffic lights


Specialists of the automotive concern have developed a mechanism that can radically change the typical organization of traffic. The presented Ford technology can make the usual traffic lights at intersections no longer needed.

The developers of the company were seriously puzzled by the question of how to create a coordinated system, thanks to which cars will be able to pass intersections without stopping without interfering with each other. Oddly enough, Ford engineers took as a basis the patterns of behavior of pedestrians, which, on the go, unmistakably change the pace of walking in order to skip crossing the path or successfully pass other people.

Intersection Priority Management

The work resulted in the proposed IPM (or Intersection Priority Management) system for priority management at intersections. With its help, the car's built-in software will offer the driver options for adjusting the speed to avoid collisions with other cars.

The essence of IPM is the Vehicle-to-Vehicle scheme - a kind of "communication" and interaction between vehicles located in the immediate vicinity. Thanks to V2V, vehicle traffic at intersections is optimally coordinated, resulting in vehicles driving around at a safe speed without stopping at intersections.

The technology was tested in the English city of Milton Keynes. Each car participating in the experiment was equipped with a communication system that transmitted information about an individual location, direction of movement, and speed to the general network. Then the built-in on-board IPM technology processed all the data and then generated a decision on how each car should move to pass the intersection without forced stops.

During the experimental races, the cars were driven by drivers, but in the future, Ford technology is planned for unmanned vehicles. Automated prioritization of crossing intersections can be a reason why efficient traffic can be carried out without traffic lights. If now self-driving cars use different sensors and means of on-board navigation independently of each other, the V2V scheme, which connects vehicles into one communication network, will be able to take the organization of drone traffic to a new level.

Work on the project is being carried out within the UK Autodrive partnership program, whose task is to gradually transfer cars and unmanned vehicles connected to the IPM system from experimental tracks into real urban conditions. Interestingly, according to the calculations of Ford experts, each driver spends an average of 48 hours annually waiting for a green traffic light. The developed Ford technology should also be a solution to the problem of accidents at intersections - they are allocated 60% of the total number of accidents.

As part of its research work, Ford has proposed a number of useful solutions. For example, one of the presented technologies calculates the optimal speed at which a car can travel a long distance, always hitting the green light of a traffic light (the "green wave" system). Another development helps to build a map of free parking spaces, receiving information from parking systems.

The Topic of Article: Innovative Ford technology offers an alternative to traffic lights.
Author: Jake Pinkman