Finding yourself stuck at every second red traffic light could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, an initiative by Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. Northgate, vehicle hire specialist explores with us whether or not this will really mean the end for red traffic lights.

What it’s all about

As part of the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, a roadside unit to be stationed alongside a set of traffic lights will be constructed. In their approach to the traffic lights, connected vehicles will receive information about the timings of the corresponding traffic lights, advising the driver on the optimal speed at which they should travel in order to stand the best chance of only having to pass through green lights.

Sometimes there may be no way of avoiding a red light, in which case the driver will have to be content with a message from the system that tells them how long they’ll have to wait until the red light turns green again.

Christian Ress, the supervisor of Driver Assist Technologies at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, acknowledged: “There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction.

“Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.”

Tony Harper, the head of research at Jaguar Land Rover, is also excited by the project. He said: “Our aim is to give drivers exactly the right information at the right time and collaborations with other manufacturers are essential to help us deliver this commitment to our customers.”

The red traffic light dilemma

Confused.com, a comparison website which recently conducted research revealed that motorist who drive daily in Britain can expect to spend a fifth of their time in their vehicles waiting at red traffic lights. That equates to an average of 48.66 hours every year, standing still! It’s little wonder then that the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory’s introduction will be to the delight of many drivers.

Matt Lloyd, a spokesperson at Confused.com, commented: “Red lights are a frustration for many drivers on the road but they are a necessity to keep traffic moving in a timely and orderly fashion.

“On some days, it can seem like the lights are against you and it can feel like the wait is longer than normal.”

However, Mr Lloyd was keen to add: “Rushing through a red light can cause problems for drivers and pedestrians alike. And getting caught can cause you problems with your insurance.”

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory Setup

In addition to their collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, Ford will be trialling the technology as part of UK Autodrive.

UK Autodrive is a three-year trial of self-driving vehicles along with connected vehicle technologies. It is made up of a consortium of business leaders in the technology and automotive industries, as well as a variety of academic institutions and local authorities.

Coventry and Milton Keynes will host the trialling of the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, making use of both public roads and closed circuits over the next two years.

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