Smart road technology that will make junctions safer and help to improve the environment has been given the green light to be used on public roads for the first time.
Infrared beacons on traffic lights will talk to cars approaching the lights and let the driver know if they should be moving slower or braking.
The technology will solve the problem of impatient drivers waiting at traffic lights as it will display how long the red light will stay on for, which could reduce a lot of stress and road-rage.
As a car approaches a set of traffic lights the system in the car will speak to the lights and say if the car is able to go through a green light, and the speed it should travel at.
If the light is about to go red it will tell the driver to take their foot off the pedal so as not to have to slam the breaks on as they arrive at changing lights.
Vehicle manufacturer Honda is to conduct the testing in the Japanese city of Utsunomiya.
The brakes were taken off the researchers’ plans as up to 100 vehicles will be used on the city’s roads to see whether reducing the amount of unnecessary acceleration and deceleration will improve safety and vehicle emissions.
A post on the Honda website says that the testing will begin in April and last for up to a year on five routes in the city and its suburban areas.
The company says the difference the testing will make includes: “Changes in vehicle behaviour that have an impact on traffic safety such as sudden acceleration and deceleration, effectiveness in CO2 emissions reduction and fuel economy improvement, and an impact on traffic flow.
“Honda will utilize verification results to further advance its research and strive to commercialize the driving support system.”
It goes on to say: “Through these efforts, Honda will strive to attain its environmental and safety vision to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life.”
The announcement by Honda is the latest in the race to development smarter roads, cars and transport that will make our lives easier. Next week the first working prototype of a car park made of solar panels will open.
Other proposed changes to the road surfaces include creating magnetic roads that could reduce the number of accidents that occur. These have been tested by Volvo, and Sweden has expressed a large interest in adopting the technology on its road networks.
Technologically advanced future road systems, and also those that can harness the power of our natural resources, should also benefit the environment as well as changing the way we travel.
Norway is leading the field in trying to make its road networks better for the environment, as it has announced that cars burning fossil fuels in the country’s capital, Oslo, will no longer be allowed. From 2035 all traffic into the city needs to be zero emissions, marking a key point in the green vehicle revolution.
Featured image courtesy of Shinichi Higashi via Flickr / Creative Commons Licence