How to control traffic lights with your smart phone.

Steve White LouisvilleHow to control traffic lights with your smart phone! well…. Almost, kinda, sorta….

With so many smart phones, relaying information to the “cloud”, It would seem logical to consolidate some of the historical trajectory information and “tune” the cities traffic lights accordingly. This would be a dynamic configuration that would account for road constructions, road obstructions, Traffic patterns, Collegiate and Professional game traffic and emergency vehicle prioritization.

Imagine the traffic lights being “aware” of football games, parades and other special event traffic and automatically tuning their timing. The lights would be able to time themselves accordingly as they are aware of the traffic conditions, speed and density. We could tie in weather conditions to increase the yellow light timing and bring the entire intersection to a stop when icy and slick. Easing not only the time and energy spent in traffic, it would also reduce the wear on the automobiles and reduce emissions. Go Green! 

For this to work, we don’t need a large percentage of adoption. A 2% user base would be sufficient for modeling. We could augment complex interchanges with cameras and sensors, this with the intelligence from the phones (or cars themselves) should allow us to better time our lights, prioritize the traffic flow and light length timing. This could be added to government cars or city transportation to increase priority routing and aid in initial timing statistical generation. Think about it on your way around this week. What would you change on your traffic lights?