Traffic lights are a fundamental part of traffic control around the world, but their operation is far from perfect. That is precisely what IBM is trying to solve with a new patent in which artificial intelligence is key.
For the group of IBM researchers responsible for the study, it is possible to develop a traffic light control system far superior to the current one based on the information received by a set of cameras.
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The patent registered on May 8, 2018, poses an interesting alternative to the current system based on simple timers. Instead of using such a system, the traffic lights would adapt to the traffic to learn from it and be able to establish how to optimize the operation of the traffic lights to minimize these potential congestions.
The images collected by the cameras, explained in the patent, are identified by a computer, which calculates the traffic flow for one or more routes of that intersection in which the traffic behavior is studied.
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Steve Hobson, one of the responsible for the study, explained that reality shows how traffic guards relieve congestion in all kinds of events, and the idea would be to extend that idea but do so thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, which It would assist human beings when it comes to regulating these traffic lights to mitigate traffic jams.
The idea is not entirely new: Carnegie Mellon University has already carried out experiments in this regard in the city of Pittsburgh and its advances have “reduced car waiting time by 40%”, and more importantly, that led to emission reductions of up to 26% in the vehicles that circulated in the streets managed by said system.
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