Autonomous, computer-controlled electric vehicles may still be daunting for some, but British automotive marque Jaguar Land Rover envisage a future where this autonomy will be the motoring world’s greatest asset.
One self-thinking car on the road could be an issue, but an entire road network of autonomous vehicles constantly talking to each other – and to the system – is a concept worth expanding further.
And it’s been expanding for decades now. It’s by no means a new thought process, but the crux of it implies that cars will one day be able to talk to each other, thus making driving more efficient. They’ll share information about road conditions, weather, traffic jams and crashes to begin with, and then develop into smart autonomous operators that sync your speed, destination and traffic with that of road infrastructure. Essentially, you’ll soon never see another red light ever again.
On average, people spend five years of their life waiting in lines, with six months of that time spent sitting waiting at traffic lights.
The first step in this futuristic grand plan is to rid society of red lights forever. To achieve this, even with current vehicles on the road, JLR is pioneering a ‘Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory’ system that allows cars to talk to traffic lights and advise the driver of the ideal speed they should use to avoid a stoplight. In an eventually autonomous future, the cars will make these decisions for us.
Known in the industry as V2X ‘Vehicle-to-Infrastructure’ technology, JLR says it will also “prevent drivers from racing to beat the lights and improve air quality by reducing harsh acceleration or braking near lights.” It can also be assumed that this will reduce crash risks, as the tech will remind you who has the right of way at an intersection and take action if a hazard arises.
It’ll also be able to help you find you a parking spot, which is probably more important to most people than never sitting at a traffic light again.