What is the future for traffic engineering

traffic light"You sees you thinks, you speaks"

This year the traffic light is celebrating a special anniversary: ​​It will be 100 years old. It will continue to render loyal service to us road users in the future - only a few things will change in terms of technology. For drivers, this means: significantly less stress.

Transport researcher Lars Schnieder and his team from the Institute for Transport Systems Technology at the Aerospace Center think about how green, yellow and red will work in the future. They are already testing traffic lights and clever traffic light systems that will only be used in road traffic in 10 to 15 years.

"Traffic lights have to know how the traffic works around them, where is which car, how many cars are there and where do the cars want to go. There are certainly still a few things that can be improved there."

In the future, thinking traffic lights will show us the way, says Lars Schnieder. It is not only a question of making the best possible decision as to which cars are going to be green and keeping the time lost to a minimum, but also of designing the green phases in such a way that as little CO2 as possible is emitted.

Relaxed driving thanks to the Green Wave Assistant

Also, traffic lights will soon tell their surroundings via a kind of WLAN how long red or green will be given in which lane:

"The traffic light speaks to your car, the vehicle interprets it and selects the right driving strategy. You receive a recommendation on how to drive and then swim optimally on the green wave."

Before that happens, however, a lot of optimizations are necessary. The challenges include: backlog length estimation and optimal throughput per green phase. A lot of capacities are still being wasted here today.

In addition, the researchers are also thinking about how traffic light systems can also communicate with cyclists in the future. A special mobility assistant will also communicate with the smartphones of blind and visually impaired people and increase safety and efficiency.