MM Blog: Engineering A Future Without Stoplights

A look at how MIT is building a world without stoplights.

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The advent of autonomous and semi-autonomous cars could lead to more vehicles on the road than ever before. MIT’s Senseable City Lab has been crafting innovative ways to handle the increased flow of traffic. 

One design is a slot-based system that takes stoplights out of the intersection equation altogether. Instead, sensors built into the vehicles will relay information about speed and location. Upon approaching an intersection, the sensors would communicate with those in other vehicles and would slightly slow or speed up the vehicles to navigate through without stopping.

Researchers say that this slot-based model could also be modified to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic. With today’s traffic volume, MIT estimates traffic efficiency could be doubled, vehicular emissions could be cut and delays nearly eliminated.


Does this seem like a feasible way of controlling future traffic? What potential problems can you see?

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