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Intelligent Traffic Cloud Service to Enable Environmental Gains

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198160D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention is a system to enable motorists to maintain more constant rates of speed, thus saving fuel, reducing congestion, and mitigating pollution. The system consists of an intelligent traffic cloud service that uses smart sensors to report real-time conditions.

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Intelligent Traffic Cloud Service to Enable Environmental Gains

In vehicular systems, more fuel is often consumed in acceleration than is used to maintain speed. Furthermore, most traffic congestion studies show that congestion is more prevalent with excessive acceleration and deceleration. When motorists are able to maintain speeds, reducing acceleration and deceleration, end results include reductions in traffic congestion, in energy consumption (fuel usage), and in environmental pollution. For example, much of the driving activity in the worlds' urban areas is "stop and go," in great part because motorists are gated at each traffic light. Such continual acceleration and deceleration causes excessive fuel consumption, and increases both environmental pollution and traffic congestion.

Known solutions to the problem include:

• Conscientious motorists attempt to maintain speeds by gauging distance between cars, monitoring traffic lights on the horizon. This is an imperfect solution with many burdens on the driver.

• One company has attempted to implement a notification system with one car manufacturer to enable communication between traffic lights and cars. This solution is not available for the millions of cars already on the road and uses a less holistic system than what is being proposed here.

• Road sensor and traffic data can be streamed to smart phones (particularly GPS-enabled devices) for display on electronic maps. Similarly, traffic maps are available for display on mobile phones. Such collected traffic data is sent to mobile devices. This solution is available for the few who have those selected compatible devices.

This disclosure proposes methods and options for motorists to maintain speed, through use of an intelligent traffic cloud service combined with "smart sensors" to report real-time conditions.

Many cities monitor traffic flow rate (and hence speed) along their highways and byways using in-ground inductive sensors. Furthermore, many traffic lights detect the presence of stopped cars, and also monitor pedestrian crossing signals. Sending such data to a central repository has many advantages.

The invented service combines such empirical data, and computes light changing patterns and speed along all roads. Furthermore, the system then employs a number of known algorithms to optimize traffic systems for minimum acceleration and deceleration. This data is then sent instantaneously to intelligent speed limit displays, which then adjust the traffic on all roads in the system. The core idea is a centralized system, computing optimum speed based on various sensor inputs and then publishing this speed on intelligent signs along all roads.

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Additionally, this instantaneous road speed data may be aggregated, compared/contrasted, and displayed with real-time (or near real-time) speed in strategic locations, as well as making it generally available to portable electronic devices. For example, posting expect...