New sat-nav technology can avoid red lights

Drivers frustrated with the constant stop/start nature of their journeys will be relieved to hear that new sat-nav technology that tells drivers how fast to travel if they want to avoid waiting at red lights is being trialled.

Conceived at Newcastle University, the project aims to ease traffic jams and cut down on pollution created by non-flowing traffic.

It will be tested across seven European cities - including Newcastle - in an £8.6million project called Compass4D.

The technology tells drivers what speed to travel at in order to sail, uninterrupted, through the next four traffic lights before they turn red.

It also tells drivers about road conditions and if traffic is particular busy in a certain area, key roads will be given priority to ease congestion.

Phil Blythe, professor of intelligent transport systems at Newcastle University, explained how the device will receive information: "The in-vehicle unit will communicate with the smart traffic lights controlled by the city's UTMC (Urban Traffic Management & Control). For example, the system might advise a driver that if they travel at 24 miles an hour they will hit the next four sets of traffic lights on green."

"This will be the first trial of its kind in the UK, putting the city at the forefront of new and innovative thinking as to how emerging technologies can help us better manage our increasingly congested roads in the future."

Dr Yvonne Huebner, from Newcastle University, who is leading the project in the UK commented on how the technology will benefit everyone: "Every year there are more cars on the road and although there are initiatives in place to keep our cities moving congestion is still a major problem."

"And it's not just car drivers. By creating a joined-up information system for all road users we can give other users such as the emergency services and bus drivers information which can help them get to their destination quickly and safely."

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