I was briefly quoted in TechNewsWorld in an article about Virtual Traffic Lights, a long-discussed possibility with “Connected Vehicles”.
“Optimizing traffic lights is a great idea,” said David Levinson, a transportation analyst and professor at the University of Minnesota.
Getting them deployed any time soon, however, “is impossible, since it won’t be useful until all cars have such devices,” he told TechNewsWorld. “You can’t eliminate regular traffic lights until every car has VTL.”
Further, all the infrastructure — including hundreds of thousands of traffic lights managed by thousands of jurisdictions — would have to be upgraded, he pointed out.
“Even if all new cars have this, it will be decades before every car has this; old cars will need to be banned, retrofitted or somehow accommodated in a way that diminishes the utility of VTL,” he explained.
“Autonomous vehicles have a much more viable deployment path, and rely on the ability of the vehicle to sense conventional lights,” Levinson noted.
I really wish technology promoters would think about the deployment path instead of the end state. And discussing “carbon emissions” assumes this is deployed while gasoline is still used for powering cars, in other words, in 30 years when this may be feasible, we will still be burning fuel instead of using batteries or something else, which may be true, but would be sad.