The Chainlink

A researcher at CMU has developed the idea of eliminating physical traffic lights and instead installing virtual traffic lights that appear on a heads up display in the windshields of all autos. Does anyone else see the major missing element in this picture?

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/14/tech/virtual-traffic-lights-windshiel...

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You mean the pedestrians and walk lights? The pedestrians don't want to go anywhere near that intersection. On second thought, maybe they're all dead...

"Our solution leverages this capability," says Tonguz. "Since cars can talk to each other, we can manage the traffic control at intersections without infrastructure-based traffic lights."

"It's almost like we are giving additional life to people," says Tonguz. "Life that is wasted on the road."

Anyone who doesn't think that the rise of car automation and car-to-car communication will lead to new measures to exclude pedestrians from the streets is being naive.

I'm wondering, in this scenario... will cyclists also have a heads up virtual traffic light on their handlebars? Will their be bike to car communication which will allow cyclists to trigger a green light? Oversight maybe?

I think the graphic above is so telling. No cyclists. No pedestrians. Only cars. It is a old-school traffic engineers dream. It's all about L.O.S.

Maybe the virtual traffic lights will work with a government-mandated smart-hat. I suppose both cyclists and pedestrians can be made to wear them. That would explain the inclusion of crosswalks in the above picture. Though, why the crosswalks cannot also be "virtual" is puzzling.

I'd like to know about the heads-up display in that '65 Pontiac.

Love this thread.

Better yet, remove all traffic lights and let chaos reign


I don't know.  Traffic seems to be moving a whole let better through all of that chaos than anything I've ever seen on Ashland.    Forget about BRT, take out all of the lights!


WalkThroughWater said:

Better yet, remove all traffic lights and let chaos reign

Actually, if I were a cyclist in that intersection I would just "ride the coattails" of the car going in my direction so it probably would lead to less stopping for me. Pedestrians can't make it through quickly enough using that strategy, though.

Ryan Stahlman said:

I'm wondering, in this scenario... will cyclists also have a heads up virtual traffic light on their handlebars? Will their be bike to car communication which will allow cyclists to trigger a green light? Oversight maybe?

I think the graphic above is so telling. No cyclists. No pedestrians. Only cars. It is a old-school traffic engineers dream. It's all about L.O.S.

I agree with you but I would like to state this "in the positive"....

the rise of car automation and car-to-car communication will lead to new measures to exclude pedestrians and probably cyclists as well

David Altenburg said:

Anyone who doesn't think that the rise of car automation and car-to-car communication will lead to new measures to exclude pedestrians from the streets is being naive.

A car sick vision of transportation that excludes pedestrians and cyclists.

Why don't we state what major urban city would look like if individual automobiles were banned and only public transportation, bikes and pedestrians were allowed? In essence: park your car at the edge of the city and inside the city, walk, bike or bus...

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