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  1. #1
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Traffic Control Technologies Advancing

    Audi Online traffic light system helps drivers hit the green lights


    Quote:

    ".... the car uses the internet to contact the area’s central traffic computer and asks it for the automated traffic light sequences. From these, the system calculates the best speed needed to hit as many green lights as possible..."

    This is one of the things would be possible. Note: I was going to add this to an existing thread, but it was gone, Or I couldn't find it.

    This Audi system is similar to what Amtrak uses on the Northeast Corridor. So it's not really an invention, it is an Innovation.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  2. #2
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I like the idea but ... I often do that locally by knowing the timing and cycles, hitting almost every light green. And yet, I often find someone is tailgating me, even flashing his lights and honking, and the lights I do catch red are often because several drivers have rushed up to stop and haven't gotten untracked yet. So I am skeptical that the system could improve traffic in the short term. If it will educate drivers even a little though, that would be worthwhile.

  3. #3
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    A skilled driver with half a brain in his/her head is fully capable of doing something very similar, all they have to do is actually rise to a basic IF/THEN state of basic logic in the outer part of their brain instead of using the old reptile core part of the brain and racing up to the next red light like a dumb animal.

    Getting drivers to act like more the just dumb animals and engage the critical thinking and logic parts of their brain instead of using the reptile brain core is a far better option then using some kind of technological band aid system that doesn't solve the real problem and even encourages further reptile level base animal instinct aggressive violent anti-social irresponsible behavior.

    I routinely have little issue pacing myself to smoothly hit the majority of green lights whether on bike or driving an automobile or heavy hauler truck. Why because I refuse to allow the reptile brain core to be my decision maker in how I operate any vehicle on the public right of way around other innocent people.

  4. #4
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Why are we talking about how to get cars to flow smoothly? I find that on my bike its pretty easy to figure out how fast to ride to time lights, if (and these days its a big if) i can ride fast enough to catch the greens. and if the light ahead is red, I either run it with appropriate slowing, or slow enough to wait for it to turn green.
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  5. #5
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I do admit this system could have advantages for cyclists IF in combination with broad implementation a lower safer more cautious speed was what the light cycles in town were timed too. Say 15-mph being the perfect speed to hit most if not all of the greens. That combined with either an electronic system like this or better yet attentive drivers who realize the lower speed the lights are timed too would help improve safety for everyone on our public right of ways but especially the vulnerable users including cyclists and pedestrians and also allows cyclists to more easily mix with the traffic stream as equals with cars due to the reduced speed.

    I personally can maintain speeds in excess of 20-mph and often at or around 25-mph for short bursts between the red lights when riding VC in town which allows me to hold my own fairly well with cars. But I do realize though that many cyclists are not capable of doing that and putting out that kind of power even for the short few blocks long spurts in traffic between those lights that are "collectors" for a new series of phased lights and you almost always hit the red so timing the lights to a lower speed would be beneficial for many cyclists and in the process of slowing down traffic as a whole generally improves safety for everyone (check the stats. for ped. deaths by impact speed, its incredible how much every 5-mph reduction in speed below 40-mph or so reduces % of death and injury by a wide margin).



    As to automated systems built into cars to improve safety - my favorite idea is an automatic "punish" emergency braking system that will not allow you to ram into anything right in front of you, but it waits until the absolute last moment before kicking in and then brakes hard while at the same time releasing the drivers shoulder belt so that unlike in a normal collision his/her shoulder seat belt does not restrain their upper body and allows their face to smack into the steering wheel just like they were driving an old car with only a lap belt and no shoulder upper body restraint.

    It would only take a few times of this system kicking in on a careless or reckless driver preventing them from hitting something right in front of them to get their attention and get them to in the future drive in such a manner as to be sure the system never kicked in again.

    A good driver, however, would have no worries with such a system since they will be applying the brakes well before the system would kick in because it doesn't kick in until the last moment and if the brakes are already being applied it don't kick in and it don't release the shoulder belt.



    Then for just mere personal driving ease myself and also allowing me to do an even better job of being a good driver I would like some kind of automatic speed limit system that knew what the speed limit on the road was and would automatically create a "slack point" in the gas pedal that I could feel when I was driving the speed limit.

    I would personally like that because then I could just keep my eyes on the road all the time and not have to be constantly glancing down at the instrument panel to check me speed and adjust. Preferably the system could also recognize suggested speed reduction signs for limited line of sight corners and such and also be easily adjusted with a simple push of a button to be set for an increment less then the speed limit.

    Push button for the speed limit, bush button for -5mph, and for -10mph below the speed limit and then a 55-mph button where whenever the speed limit was higher then 55-mph would act like it was 55-mph.

    Not saying make it so its impossible to go faster, just put a "slack point" the gas pedal that I can feel and don't have to glance down at the instrument panel to check me speed. Still might need the ability to accelerate for a short burst in an emergency to avoid some crazy nut from hitting me from the side or racing up on my rear so don't want to make it impossible to accelerate beyond if absolutely needed just make it so I can feel it in the pedal and it automatically adjusts that slack point I can feel in the pedal as the speed limit changes.

    At least for the way I drive an automobile (which I would call basic realization of responsibility followed up by behavior modification realizing the potential for death, injury, and destruction my vehicle could cause if I do not safely operate it with due caution and care and respect for the lives, health, and property of others) would take a lot of load of me and allow me to devote even more attention to watching what's going on around me and watching the road in front of me. Sort of like a dynamic cruise control system of sorts.

    I've got something sort of like that in the 5-ton truck I own since I put a new engine in it that is bio-diesel compatible which also has a maximum efficiency governor system built into the engine control computer that makes it so that the engine prefers to run in its "sweet spot" on its RPM range where its power output for fuel consumption is the most efficient and will only rev up the RPMs faster then that point if you push the pedal all the way to the floor otherwise that is as fast as it spools up.

    That combined with the 3x5 transmission (15 gear ratios total, 5-speed main transmission and 3-speed secondary) and a little bit of knowledge in my head where I know how fast each of my gear combinations will go if I stay in a gear that with the engine running in its RPM sweet spot allow me to maintain a constant cruising speed without glanceing down at the instrument panel.

    But I still have to note the speed limit signs and manually change gears to adjust. For a heavy hauling truck that is probably the best system but for a regular car with automatic transmission you could take this whole "dynamic cruise control" idea a whole lot further where the "sweet spot" that you could feel in the gas pedal automatically adjusted to the safe speed for the roadway on which you were traveling allowing you to keep your eyes on the road all the time and not have to ever glance down at the instrument panel unless something was mechanically wrong and you had to check your other gauges besides the speedometer.

    For me it would be just a matter of reducing my operator load and allowing my to skip the glance downs to check speed and keep constant eyes on the road and be maintain constant visual scan forward and around me, but for others such as the dangerous lead foot crowd it could make even more of a safety improvement provided they actually used it.

    Possibly you could tie this "hit all or at least most of the green lights" in town system into such a "dynamic cruise control" system so when you were driving in-town that would be the slack point you would feel in the gas pedal. For me though its pretty easy for me to do that in-town just by judging the light cycle out on the open highways in-between towns is where being able to "feel" the right speed to go without having to constantly glance down at the dash to check my speed is what I would really like to have.

    When I'm riding a bike obviously this isn't much of an issue since with a bicycle unless I'm in a school zone or other area with a really low speed limit I just generally pedal strong to go as fast as I can and its not like I'm going to be breaking speed limits or riding too fast for safety and where I do need to be careful of my speed on a bicycle I can easily do the math in my head based off of what gear I'm in and my pedaling cadence to "feel" my speed without having to glance down at a bike speedometer (which for the most part I have little use for since I can do it in my head) and can keep my head up and eyes on the road and scanning what's going on around me.

    For an automobile though, some kind of "dynamic cruise control" that lets the operator "feel" the correct safe and sane speed to be driving without having to glance down constantly at their dash to check their speed probably has some considerable benefits. But I wouldn't want it to be fully automatic, better to just allow the operator to "feel" whether they are going too fast or not and make them be responsible to do something about it. And then hitting all or most of the green lights in-town seems to be a lower priority then generally maintaining a safe and sane speed especially on high speed roadways where it is more difficult to visually judge speed without instrumentation assistance of some sort.

    Driving in-town its not hard to know the difference between driving 15-mph and driving 35-mph without any instrumentation assistance at all, but on a high speed highway especially if long straight and flat sometimes without instrumentation assistance it can be hard to tell the difference between 50-mph and 75-mph until it comes time to hit the brakes and then all of a sudden the braking distance could be a difference of more then double !!!
    Last edited by turbo1889; 03-17-14 at 08:45 PM.

  6. #6
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    ...using the old reptile core part of the brain...using the reptile brain core...reptile level base animal instinct aggressive violent anti-social irresponsible behavior... the reptile brain core
    This does sound like some Real Deal Vehicular Cycling stuff!

  7. #7
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Actually its fairly hard science, humans (and other species) have a brain core that dates back to the reptilian dominant ancient earth and it is the vicious dangerous aggressive part of our mind. The part of the mind that is responsible for road rage, spouses murdering cheating mates, bar brawls, etc . . . Where as the outer layers of the human (and to a more limited extent (with the possible exception of dolphins and a few others) other species) brain is responsible for higher functions, the part that allows us to do calculus and stare up into a bright star studded night sky and ask deep theological questions about why we are here.

    I do not deny that there is a certain current of "reptilian brain" thought patterns behind some cyclists motivation to ride VC as in "It's my road too and I'm going to make sure you know it !!!" But at least in certain situations there is also certainly a higher brain functionality to it as well as in "The speed limit is 25-mph and traffic is crawling along at 15-mph so why shouldn't I operate my bicycle vehicle as an equal, I can keep up with the pace of traffic here no problem and if I act like I belong and ride with traffic people aren't cutting me off like I'm trash near as much." Then if you want to go even deeper you can get to the big moral questions about whether it is morally right for the bigger powerful faster majority to force the smaller slower vulnerable minority to get the heck out of their way or be run down in cold blood which certainly falls into the general category of rising above the base reptilian brain core where "I'm bigger and faster and if you get in my way I'd just as soon kill you as look at you and I might even go out of my way to go after you just for entertainment even if you don't get in my way." is most certainly the dominant attitude. As to the cowering if fear and hugging the curb that also generally falls into a very base "fight or flight and your bigger then I am so flight" kind of reaction which is very much tied to the basic instincts of the reptilian brain core.

    Almost everything humans do is actually a combination of both the base reptilian brain core and the outer higher reasoning skills, some actions however are far more dominant in one area or the other.

    I'm not so sure its a fair characterization to put VC cycling into the reptilian brain core dominant category, its a little more complicated then that. Some things like murdering an unfaithful mate in a crime of passion or solving advanced math problems purely for pure science applications are easy to classify, but most things are not so clear cut and are complex mixture of the two and as I think you will agree it strongly is dependent on the individual in question. I've certainly run into some people who clearly use their reptilian brain core almost exclusively as well as a few brainy nerds who were way out there on the upper end and couldn't come down to earth as far as having the base level instincts that can be useful at times.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I am in favor of the plan to track cars with GPS and WiFi, and I want a device on my handlebars to "Beep" when a car comes within , say, 250 feet (or I could set it for half a mile, or 50 feet).

    Electronics are great. They say we'll have self-driving cars in 15 years.

    I don't know if the average driver needs a black box on the dashboard, I think the car of the future will have a black box on the dashboard… what the driver needs is a little sticker , on the black box , that reads "Why can't you be as smart as this black box?

    RFPaspects.jpg

    Back to the "missing thread", I have inserted a diagram of railway signals. Of course today, trains can run automatically, if they have automatic train control, and it's only a matter of time before cars will be self driving, we ought to just look at this diagram, and see how much the average driver doesn't know.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  9. #9
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    So what would keep a cyclist or rollerblader from just constantly getting in front of cars and stopping traffic totally? In todays word I think its a combination of fear and decency, but if you knew cars would stop would you ever not pull out in front of them and totally reduce traffic to a 15 mph pace?
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  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Why are we talking about how to get cars to flow smoothly? I find that on my bike its pretty easy to figure out how fast to ride to time lights, if (and these days its a big if) i can ride fast enough to catch the greens. and if the light ahead is red, I either run it with appropriate slowing, or slow enough to wait for it to turn green.
    Yeah, but that means you are actually thinking about what you are doing.

    I do the same thing even when I drive... yet I see the majority of drivers around me rush to the next stop light, sit there and then zoom off when the light turns green. I also see that quite a few of them seem to be staring at something other than the road.... thus they are not really paying attention to traffic, the lights or timing their approach.

  11. #11
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    You know who else liked infrastructure to solve traffic problems? ...

  12. #12
    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    then road x has green wave, creating a jam on road y, so timing on road x get changed and whole circus starts again

  13. #13
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Well, I hope things can be worked out. The railroads have had CTC for almost a hundred years. If GPS, or video cameras , CCTV. road sensors can network with Computers, maybe the signals will change for you , IF, and ONLY IF, there are no other vehicles coming, they can give you a green light.
    Ford is working on a systen to let vehicles know, via GPS and WIFI, of the presence of other vehicles.
    I don't have a GPS for my Bike yet , but I'm thinking of getting one.
    A BEEP to let me know a car is approaching!!! I would like that, providing I can set the Device to a set distance, say , 250 feet. I mean a Ping, not a beep... Or set it for a mile , on a country road
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  14. #14
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Government Wants to Make Cars Talk to Each Other

    WASHINGTON — Aug 18, 2014, 1:43 PM ET
    By JOAN LOWY Associated Press








    The Obama administration said Monday it is taking a first step toward requiring that future cars and light trucks be equipped with technology that enables them to warn each other of potential danger in time to avoid collisions…"



    Read More:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/government-make-cars-talk-25024626
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

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