Self-organizing Traffic Lights at MIT's Climate CoLab
If you would like traffic lights to work better, please share and vote for our proposal, "Self-organizing traffic lights" (quick registration required).
The optimal coordination of traffic lights is an extremely complex problem. Moreover, traffic situations change constantly, demanding everchanging solutions. Most traffic lights are fixed. And from the few ones that adapt, they do so very slowly. A recently proposed method allows for the distributed adaptation of traffic lights as fast as the traffic demands change, i.e. at the seconds scale.
In several computer simulations, this method has proven to reduce waiting times by 50%, leading to considerable emission reductions. For example, it is estimated that with one thousand intersections in Mexico City, one million CO2 tons would be saved every year, at a cost of only $25 million.
We have the technology to implement this solution, it is time to do it!