Ride the green wave

Ford is currently trialling new technology to help drivers hit every green light on their journey.

Its Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory uses information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit to display the best speed to travel at to get a green light.

The trial is taking place as part of UK Autodrive – the nation’s largest self-driving and connected car trial. The 16-member, publicly-funded £20m project is developing and trialling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle‑to‑infrastructure technologies that could make driving less stressful and time-consuming, and improve fuel efficiency.

Christian Ress, supervisor, Driver Assist Technologies, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, said, ‘There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction. Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.’

Daily drivers in the UK alone spend two days each year waiting at red lights, and similar technologies already enable cyclists in Copenhagen and Amsterdam to avoid red lights.

Ford is also trialling Emergency Electronic Brake Lights, which warn when a vehicle in front suddenly brakes hard – even if the incident occurs out-of-sight – up to a distance of 500 metres.

Trials are taking place on both public roads and closed circuits in Milton Keynes and Coventry during the next two years.