Born in London in 1868, the traffic light is a signal device that is located at road intersections and other places to regulate traffic, and therefore, pedestrian traffic. And in 1917 in San Francisco, California, the first automatic red and green traffic light started its service, giving way to the devices we know today.
The same ones in which we stop the car every day and always with the same ignorance and impatience of when the disc will change from red to green. And the same ones that Google wants to control with its technology to increase circulatory efficiency in cities.
Greater energy sustainability
Yesterday, Google presented several sustainable options in the face of its commitment to climate change, already a present and current threat rather than something distant. A commitment through energy measures with the objective that by 2030, “Our data centers and campuses run on clean energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”. But also helping through its search engine to “one billion people to make more sustainable decisions by 2022 “ in different areas, including the circulatory.
And it is that using the car is uOne of the activities that generate the most emissions and that we all usually do on a daily basis. Therefore, from yesterday in the United States and from 2022 in Europe, Google Maps will indicate by default the least polluting route, provided that the estimated time of arrival is similar to that of the fastest route.
With this measure, “we believe that more than a million tons of carbon emissions can be avoided each year” (which is equivalent to taking more than 200,000 cars off the road). Furthermore, by reducing fuel consumption, “drivers will save money ”.
Google’s efficient traffic lights
But perhaps the most ambitious measure that Google is preparing in this sector is to use its technology in the current traffic lights that populate the cities of the world. The company is studying how to make routes within a city more efficient. And in this initial phase of our research “we have used artificial intelligence to improve the operation of traffic lights.”
In fact, lThe technology is already in testing and it turns out to be efficient: “We have already made a pilot experience in Israel to predict traffic conditions and make traffic lights work more efficiently, recording a 10-20% reduction in both fuel consumption and waiting time at junctions. We are excited about the potential of this system and have already started talks to use it in Rio de Janeiro and other cities. “