Backed by the Vehicle-To-Everything communications technology, Ford thinks that traffic lights could go obsolete in the near future.
Vehicle-To-Everything, or V2X communication is something that most major manufacturers are already working on. Some automakers have made this tech available as well. Among these automakers, Ford is hedging its bets on V2X replacing the need for traffic lights entirely in the near future.
The American carmaker announced on Wednesday that it will trial an Intersection Priority Management (IPM) system in Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom. Through this system, Ford hopes to demonstrate that cars may not always have to stop at an intersection or for a traffic sign. Instead, the system suggests speeds at which a car can cross the intersection without needing to hat completely.
The technology is inspired by the way humans navigate through crowds of people on foot. We do not stop when we are weaving through a crowd, adjusting our speed and direction slightly to avoid colliding with other people instead.
Vehicle-To-Vehicle (V2V) communication allows cars to locate other cars in their vicinity and detect their direction of travel, speed, and other essential data. IPM system identifies upcoming traffic intersections and stop lights. The IPM also calculates all of the surrounding cars’ trajectories and projects an optimal speed for each of them to pass through an intersection without colliding or having to stop.
As of today, V2V and V2X are distant dreams for the millions of cars on the road do not feature these technologies, but future autonomous cars might come with these two techs as standard. In fact, both V2V and V2X have the potential to be the most crucial additions to the list of a driverless car’s feature list. Ford is currently testing the systems with humans behind the wheel but claims that IPM may not need humans or traffic lights one day.