Ford tests connected traffic light tech that goes green for emergency vehicles
Ford Motor's Europe arm is working on smarter and connected traffic lights system that can communicate with first responder vehicles and help them get to their destination faster. The technology can make traffic lights automatically go green in response to first responder vehicles such as ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles.
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The system can also help reduce traffic congestion in daily driving situations by sending the red-green timing information to approaching vehicles. The technology behind this system is known as Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X).
During the test runs, Ford installed this technology on a road in Aachen, Germany, with eight consecutive traffic lights. It then sent out a Kuga fitted with onboard communication units that pretended to be an ambulance for the purposes of this test. When the test vehicle approached the traffic lights, they turned green, allowing it to pass. Once the vehicle passed through the intersection, the traffic lights returned to their normal operation.
Ford says that such improvements can work wonders for first responder vehicles that often get stuck in traffic while on their way to help people. As experts believe that survival rates for road accident victims could be up to 40 per cent higher if they received treatment just four minutes sooner, this technology can be the right solution.
Besides helping first responder vehicles in emergencies, the C-V2X technology also has other benefits and applications. However, Ford is currently working to incorporate traffic light information into its adaptive cruise control. This system will allow a car to encounter fewer red lights, which is better for congestion as well as making rides smoother. “Intelligent traffic light control helps save lives when every second counts and also reduces unnecessary waiting times and cuts CO2 emissions," said Michael Reinartz, director, Consumer Services and Innovation, Vodafone Germany.