Experimental system uses smartphone network to make driving more efficient.
Researchers from MIT and Princeton University have demonstrated their ‘SignalGuru’ system, which uses a network of dashboard mounted, GPS and camera equipped smartphones to analyse the timing of traffic lights to allow a more efficient drive across town.
By having the smart phone mounted on the dashboard, the camera is able to analyse the timing of traffic light signals. This data is fed to a central server, which collates data from a network of phones, to get a picture of how all of the traffic lights in a city are operating - provided the network of users is large enough.
That data is fed back to each user, with details displayed on suggested timings or speeds to drive so that they don’t need to come to a stop at the next set of traffic lights. Coming to a stop and then accelerating again is a very inefficient way to drive, and by using this system, fuel consumption has been shown to reduce by up to 20 percent.
In future the system could also be expanded to pick up and compare other details, such as fuel prices across different gas stations, or availability of parking spaces.