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Traffic lights synchronization inside satellite navigator systems (GREEN) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000196062D
Publication Date: 2010-May-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 82K

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The efficiency of the traffic lights (semaphores) is very important to maintain a fluid flow of the traffic and to avoid bottlenecks and long queues in the cross roads. Here is proposed a system that reports to the driver the status of all the next traffic lights on his path and based on the elaboration of such data, informs the driver which is the optimal average/constant speed to optimize the traffic light "pass-trough" (based on the traffic conditions and on the traffic lights status along the selected route). As a side effect, this can optimize the vehicles fuel consumption, reduce the pollution and the time to the final target.

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Traffic lights synchronization inside satellite navigator systems (GREEN)

There are several "smart traffic lights" systems and methods that propose ways to handle in a clever way the traffic conditions and/or inform effectively the drivers. For example there are smart semaphores systems that detect the amount of cars waiting or arriving and are able to calculate the duration of the "stop" or of the "go" time accordingly. There are systems that change the duration of the stop and of the go times based on the time of the day. There are systems that inform the drivers of the time left before the traffic lights turns red. There are systems that turn the traffic lights to green along the path of emergency vehicles.

    But when approaching to a traffic light a driver does not know the status of the next ones on his way, so a normal behavior is to accelerate (to be sure to get the current green), but if he arrives too early to the next one (or one of the following) that is still red, he has to stop. This translates in useless fuel consumption and pollution. On the contrary, when approaching to a traffic light, the driver may maintain a constant speed going trough it, but when he arrives to the next traffic light (or one of the next), it is going to be turned red and we have to stop. This translates in useless time consumption and fuel consumption when stopped. This would be applicable to all the traffic lights falling inside the selected path.

    The satellite navigator systems have stored the maps of the routes that can be selected. Stored in the system there are several characteristics of each route segment that can be retrieved (like speed limits, one way road, parking lots, places of interest, off road conditions...). One additional one can be the presence of a traffic light.

    The navigation system should update the status of the traffic lights (each one identified by a unique code in his road segment) in real time (like for the real time traffic conditions), so that the status can be retrieved by the mobile equipment located in each car. This can be obtained in several ways:

1- Traffic light systems are intelligent and have a central location that handles their status, according to certain algorithms.

Having the navigation apparatus querying such systems, it can retrieve an update status of the traffic lights.

2-The traffic conditions can be retrieved by the info provided by each vehicle approaching to a certain road segment. If the vehicle is stopped
close to a cross-road, and no one is stopped behind it, it means that most likely the traffic light is red.

3-Each traffic light can provide its status to the satellite navigator equipment by using any wireless communication means (like RF, infrared, bluetooth…) Each traffic light has the possibility to communicate with the next one and so on, so that one is able to retrieve the status on n-ahead traffic lights.

4-Based on historical data that are refreshed periodically into a Traffic lights...