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Ford trials optimal speed tech for green lights

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Technology is currently being trialled with Ford cars to make “riding the green wave” a day-to-day reality. Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory uses information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit to display to the driver the best speed to travel to get a green light.

Imagine if you could take the kids to school, commute to work or drive across town to do some shopping without ever hitting a single red traffic light.

Technology is currently being trialled with Ford cars to make “riding the green wave” a day-to-day reality. Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory uses information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit to display to the driver the best speed to travel to get a green light.

Ford is trialling the technology as it helps to demonstrate the benefits of connected cars for UK Autodrive – the nation’s largest self-driving and connected car trial. The 16-member, partly publicly funded £20 million project is developing and trialling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies that could make driving less stressful and time-consuming, and improve fuel efficiency.

“There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction,” said Christian Ress, supervisor, Driver Assist Technologies, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.”

Daily drivers in the UK alone spend two days each year waiting at red lights, and similar technologies already enable cyclists in Copenhagen and Amsterdam to avoid red lights. * If drivers find hitting a red light unavoidable the system displays how long until the light turns green.

The Mondeo Hybrid cars provided by Ford are also trialling Emergency Electronic Brake Lights, which warn when a vehicle up ahead suddenly brakes hard – even if the incident occurs out-of-sight – up to a distance of 500 metres.

Technologies that will be trialled next year also warn drivers when another vehicle is blocking the junction ahead; when an ambulance, police car or fire truck is approaching; and prioritises vehicles arriving at intersections without traffic signs or traffic lights.

Trials are taking place on both public roads and closed circuits in Milton Keynes and Coventry during the next two years.

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Cars connect to traffic lights

New Jaguar Land Rover technology using Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) connects cars to traffic lights so drivers can avoid getting stuck at red and help free up traffic flow in cities.

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The world’s first traffic lights were installed exactly 150 years ago outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Since then drivers around the globe have spent billions of hours waiting for green. With Jaguar Land Rover’s latest tech, however, their days could be numbered.

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) system allows cars to “talk” to traffic lights and inform the driver the speed they should drive as they approach junctions or signals.

Widespread adoption of the V2X technology will prevent drivers from racing to beat the lights and improve air quality by reducing harsh acceleration or braking near lights. The goal is for the V2X revolution to create free-flowing cities with fewer delays and less commuter stress.

The connected technology is currently being trialed on a Jaguar F-PACE, as part of a £20 million (R371 million) collaborative research project.

Like all Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles today, the F-PACE already boasts a wide range of sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) features. The connected technology trials are enhancing existing ADAS features by increasing the line of sight of a vehicle when it is connected via the internet to other vehicles and infrastructure. GLOSA is being tested alongside a host of other measures to slash the time commuters spend in traffic.

For example, Intersection Collision Warning (ICW) alerts drivers when it is unsafe to proceed at a junction. ICW informs drivers if other cars are approaching from another road and can suggest the order in which cars should proceed at a junction.

Jaguar Land Rover has also addressed time lost to searching for a parking space by providing real-time information of available spaces to drivers and developed an Emergency Vehicle Warning to alert motorists when a fire engine, police car or ambulance is approaching. The advanced technology builds on the connected systems already available on the Jaguar F-PACE such as Adaptive Cruise Control.

Oriol Quintana-Morales, Jaguar Land Rover Connected Technology Research Engineer, said: “This cutting-edge technology will radically reduce the time we waste at traffic lights. It has the potential to revolutionise driving by creating safe, free-flowing cities that take the stress out of commuting. Our research is motivated by the chance to make future journeys as comfortable and stress-free as possible for all our customers.”

The trials are part of the £20 million government-funded project, UK Autodrive, which has helped accelerate the development of Jaguar Land Rover’s future self-driving and connected technology. As well as strengthening the Midlands’ position as a hub of mobility innovation. Britain’s biggest car maker, headquartered in Coventry, is working on connected technology as part of its pledge to deliver zero accidents, zero congestion and zero emissions.

Connected technology will link the vehicle to everything around it, allowing seamless, free-flowing traffic that will pave the way for delivering self-driving vehicles.

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Roborace reveals new vehicle

Roborace has given its fans a first look at what the new competition vehicle for Season Alpha will look like at the WebSummmit conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

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DevBot 2.0 utilizes sensors similar to that in Robocar and is also fully electric, but has the addition of a cockpit for a human driver.

Season Alpha will see teams comprising of both a human driver and an AI driver. Lap times from the duo will be compared with that of other human + machine teams to determine a winner.

DevBot 2.0 will be launched in the new year but Roborace CEO Lucas Di Grassi has shared some first glimpses of what 2019 holds for the series in an interview on stage at WebSummit.

Season Alpha will see teams compete starting in Spring 2019 using the DevBot 2.0 vehicles to develop their automated driving systems, with professional drivers teaching the AI how to improve, as well as learning from the AI how to better their own performance.

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