Nick Musachio, local inventor in Minnesota, has just been issued a patent (No. 8,711,005) for his Always Green Traffic Control System. (Since this is transportation, we will abbreviate this AGTCS)
Imagine you have an isolated signalized intersection, operating near but below capacity. If vehicles were able to travel at the correct speed when approaching the intersection for a significant distance, they should be able to travel through the intersection without hitting a red light or being delayed by standing queues. If at 45 MPH they would hit a red light, but at 35 MPH would get a green, they should be informed to reduce speed to 35 MPH. This not only reduces driver delay, but should decrease crashes and decrease emissions, both of which are exacerbated by intersection control and braking and acceleration.
How would drivers know which speed to travel? An upstream Variable Message Sign with Dynamic Speed Limits (tied into the traffic signal controller cabinet, or with the pre-programmed traffic signal timings) would tell them the best speed to avoid stopping. If only the first car in a platoon does this (on a 1 lane road), all following cars are controlled by default.
Audi has a similar in-vehicle system. That is only useful if the traffic agencies produce live feeds of traffic signal timings. Comment: it is appalling that such a traffic signal timing live feed doesn’t generally exist (even transit agencies, not historically known for their cutting edge research) have GTFS.
AGTCS is infrastructure based, and works for all vehicles anywhere an agency wants to set it up.
Some videos and simulations below.
Usually, when someone spams your comments, you delete it. But I got an interesting spam comment the other day which is a potentially good idea. There is a company called Texxi which is arguing there is a market in which people post where they are going to enable dynamic ride-matching/taxi services, which they call a Transit Exchange.
The message in full
The answer, David, is a Demand Responsive Transit Exchange which borrows heavily from the I.T. network transit exchange (that, incidentally, also allows for largescale peer-peer bandwidth sharing and trading, killing centralised monopolies and NSA snoopers in one go – http://www.educause.edu/members/michael-hrybyk), finance, aeronautics and biology.
RoadSpaceTime is virtualised into a tradable commodity and made available to people via mobile devices (XML, SMPP, SMS, Smartphone App, Web Page or Email) to connect to a futures exchange and “database of transit intentions” which store itineraries and price searches.
A credit contagion solver working through the social network graph applies genetic algorithms to suggest “solutions” to customers in realtime. In 2013, this is now laughably trivial, but even 5 years ago, the cost of the computing power would have required millions in VC money.
Take a look at:
“The Market Opportunity for Dynamic Ridesharing” | http://bit.ly/vtpi-EqTransit-1
Or download (26Mb pdf) The Market Opportunity – http://www.texxi.org/pres/marketopp.pdf
“Transport – A New Beginning” | http://bit.ly/vtpi-EqTransit-3
Or download (21.70Mb pdf) – http://www.texxi.org/pres/newbeginning.pdf
“The underpinnings of the Transit Exchange” | http://bit.ly/tranexch00
Or download (19.53Mb pdf) – http://www.texxi.org/pres/underpinnings.pdf
Certainly they are not the only ones in this space, and the idea has been around for a quite long time (Mel Webber noted the idea of Dynamic Ridesharing decades ago) but they filed for a patent as early as 2006. They propose to be the market maker here, rather than relying on peer-to-peer matching. They thus would guarantee the seller and the buyer that they will be fulfilled at a given price (and get a vig).
By combining Futures Exchanges + Mobile + Social + Big Data + Genetic Algorithms any vehicle with spare capacity becomes your private vehicle for just when you need it.
Whatever your needs, Texxi can make any participating local vehicle fleet able to offer an easy and tailored transport solution for you
Patent Pending (July 2006)
They also have a really weird video
The website is worth visiting if you are interested in possible future scenarios for The New Mobility.
The Week: Crowd-Sourcing As a Transportation Tool
where Stephen Goldsmith talks about smart apps.