MIT project uses smartphones to collect traffic light data
Article by: Darren Griffin Date: 21 Aug 2012
An MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) research project uses images captured by dashboard mounted smartphones to collect information on traffic light patterns.
The data can then be used to advise drivers when to slow down so that they do not have to sit at red lights and waste fuel. In tests, the system helped reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent. another possible use is its incorporation into satnav guidance applications.
The system can handle traffic light systems that operate on both fixed and continuously varying schedules. The data collected is shared amongst other users of the app to provide a continuously updated data stream of traffic light patterns.
The developer, visiting researcher Emmanouil Koukoumidis says that the app could also be used to capture fuel prices, availability of parking spaces and even bus route updates.
Although Koukoumidis admitted that such a system requires a lot of users before the data can be useful but it's a novel, and potentially very useful use of smartphone and GPS technology.