The car that communicates with traffic lights

SEAT

An incredible project initiated by Seat in collaboration with DGT, the Barcelona city council and ETRA has brought forth amazing technology. The questions,” What colour will I find the next traffic light if I continue at this speed?” now has an answer that does not require the intuition of the driver. The new project has managed to connect cars with traffic lights and the traffic control center to anticipate their status.  Moreover, it will also inform the cars about any road incidents that may have occurred. The car will receive the information directly. No need for information panels. The car and infrastructure, linked through the cloud using cellular technology and with latency times of 300 ms.

Reduce speed, it will be red. A part of the project consists of communicating traffic lights with cars. The traffic light sends a signal to the DGT in the cloud about its current state and when it will change and the car receives this information, interprets it and notifies you with the speed at which you are going how you are going to find it. In this way, if it is going to turn red it warns you and you can start braking before you arrive, ”he says Jordi Caus, responsible for Seat Urban Mobility Concepts.

How does it work?

Every time any vehicle approaches the traffic light, a warning is sent to it. It receives the warning on its screen which shows whether it is red, yellow or green when it reaches its hight. As a result, the system works out the speed and distance that it takes. It is important to note that it will only work if you are following the speed limit. Otherwise, no information will be sent to the vehicle. 

“If the speed limits are exceeded, the system crashes. This is very important for road safety. The goal is to be an auxiliary tool to allow the driver to carry a more uniform movement, “he says. Manuel Valdés, Mobility and Infrastructure Manager of the Barcelona City Council.

Information panels

Spain has a total of 2,000 information panels installed on its roads currently. These panels inform drivers about the status of traffic, weather or incidents due to works and accidents. With the new system, this information will appear directly on the screens of vehicles connected at any point in the road network.

 “The same thing we used to do with variable message panels on the road now we can do it but at any point on the road, directly to the car,” he says. Jorge Ordás, Deputy Director of Mobility and Technology of the DGT.

Vehicles connected with traffic lights and road

All the information is caught by the vehicle which has all the technology to incorporate the relevant technology. This information is uploaded by the DGT to the cloud. 

“The project is that the new SEAT connected car models collect from the central cloud of the DGT all real-time information related to traffic, whether on roads in information panels or in cities with traffic light status,” he says. 

More safety and efficiency

More information, fewer risk situations. This is the objective of the project, which places road safety as the main point, together with greater driving efficiency. 

“We are looking for a great impact in accident reduction, in traffic reduction and therefore, a positive impact on the environment,” according to Ordás.

A future of collaborative information 

“With this project, we are taking the first step to connect cars with the general traffic infrastructure. We have started with informative functions but, thinking about the future, we will be able to act directly on the car in situations of risk ”, concludes Caus.

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