Ford testing technology to help drivers avoid red lights


Constantly stopping for red lights is one of the most frustrating aspects of motoring. So imagine you could guarantee hitting a green light at every junction.

That's a reality Ford is working towards. It has developed technology that lets drivers know the best speed to travel between lights to ensure they'll 'ride the green wave'.

Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory takes information on traffic light timings from roadside units and displays the speed a driver needs to maintain to ensure they reach the next set of lights on green.

And if a motorist does get stuck at a red, the system will count down to the green light so that drivers can move away more quickly. Similar systems in the Netherlands have improved traffic flow by ensuring more cars pass through at green lights.

Ford Research and Advanced Engineering supervisor Christian Ress said: "Enabling drivers to 'ride the green wave' means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption."

The technology has been developed to help demonstrate the benefits of connected cars. Ford says daily drivers in the UK spend two days each year waiting at red lights, but simple features such as this can improve driving for everyone and the environment.

The manufacturer is also using Mondeo Hybrid vehicles to try out a sensor that can see a car up ahead braking hard – even if it is out of sight – and alert the driver to a hazard. Other alerts being tested include warnings of emergency service vehicles approaching and cars blocking the road ahead.