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Hamburg pilot testing intelligent traffic lights assistant

Traffic lights communicate with cars; speed tips optimize traffic flows and driving time

The City of Hamburg, Audi, Here Technologies online geodata and Swarco road traffic technology have tested a traffic light phase assistant in the run up to the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems to be hosted by the city in 2021, according to a press release Friday (July 20, 2018). Test drivers had been shown speeds needed by their cars for a phased traffic light or the length of time until a light turns red. The tests were conducted along routes with over 60 traffic lights. Such speed recommendations can optimise traffic flow, reduce travel time and protect the environment.

Lower energy consumption and less pollution

Comparable to a “green wave”, drivers are shown the best speed to avoid stopping at a traffic light. If this is not possible within the permitted speed, a countdown counts the time until the next green phase. As a result the traffic light assistant makes driving more economical and improves the flow of traffic. Deceleration, stopping and accelerated traffic light signals is avoided and energy consumption and emissions are lowered in the process.

Raw data publicly accessible on urban data hub

Hamburg is providing raw data on traffic light circuits as part of the project. Swarco prepares individual forecasts based on the data while “Here Technologies” provides the main data platform, co-ordinates the raw urban data and transmits Swarco’s forecasts and maps of complex intersections to Audi on an interface.

Now that the pilot has proved successful, data will be made available throughout the city allowing forecasts of “green time” for over 1,000 traffic lights in Hamburg. Since the raw data on the Urban Data Hub, developed by the Landesbetrieb Geoinformation und Vermessung as part of the ITS strategy, will be made available to all interested users, the forecasts can be used in other applications and on apps soon. Cyclists will also benefit from the forecasts in future.

Urban mobility in future

The project is part of the Mobility Partnership between the Volkswagen Group and Hamburg. These partnerships aim to shape urban mobility of the future and to transform Hamburg into a model of future, sustainable and integrated mobility. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation, remarked: “The traffic light time forecast in the vehicle is an excellent example that our co-operation with industrial partners at eye level is exactly the right choice. Everyone has contributed their strengths and core skills. As a result, we have a development that works, is innovative and offers real added value to road users. We are en route to tomorrow’s mobility and have made good progress.”

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