Post Number: 1850
|Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2007 - 10:30 pm: || |
Last year I made this prediction:
quote:They're approaching that idea with this idea from Australia: Soft Stop.
Someday we'll have virtual traffic lights. They'll be projected on everyone's windshield like a heads-up display. They'll all be synchronized by wireless. No more need to construct expensive physical traffic lights.
I think Detroit could contribute a lot of similar ideas.
(Message edited by Jimaz on April 07, 2007)
Post Number: 221
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 12:46 am: || |
Good idea Jimaz, since most of Detroits traffic lights looks like this:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /227/444089510_3cc93bc50e_b.jp g
I don’t recall a time or place where so many traffic lights are out of order. Nor do I know of a city where more drivers run through them.
Post Number: 1202
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 1:01 am: || |
Cool picture Bullet. Man you just keep cranking them out. I love abandoned stuff like that. Saw plenty of broken traffic lights in Gary and the east side of Cleveland.
Thanks again for the picture, cool as always.
Post Number: 302
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 1:29 am: || |
Just watched the video.... Looks like a bunch of messy stuff involved just to tell traffic to stop. Smoke spraying out and all those lasers.
Post Number: 239
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 9:18 am: || |
I don't think that is smoke, I think that is a sheet of water. The water could be pretty costly, maybe if Detroit adopts it they can just write it off to the Suburbs. Just kidding. I could see accidents happening from cars skidding on the water.
What is also cool but LED technology are these wheels that are computer controled and can change designs as you drive. This morning the link was down on the video to it, but hopefully that is temporary since it is really a cool video to watch and the one I had saved of it was lost when my hard drive crashed.
Post Number: 240
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 9:19 am: || |
Sorry, I forgot to add the link Here it is. http://www.customwheel.com/cus tom_wheels/product_info.php/pr oducts_id/1687
Post Number: 224
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 10:09 am: || |
Wolverine, Detroit has plenty of smoke (from building fires) or water (from broken mains) to employ this technology. Water in the summer, smoke in the winter perhaps. Harsensis, do we really need more places for people to publicly display their porn? I like the HUD idea, but I doubt it could be seen by the drivers doing a Detroit (gangsta) lean. And video surveillance will prove fruitless as most Detroit’s drivers can't be seen above the dash board; have no plates, insurance or drivers licenses. This would be of no use to pedestrians either: when was the last time you saw some one in Detroit cross at the light? Or walk on the side walk for that matter? Never? The Flintstones had a better traffic control system in Stone Age Bedrock then Detroiters do now. Yaba daba doo Detroit.
Post Number: 248
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 10:58 am: || |
So instead of ignoring traffic lights that are physically there, Detroiters can now start ignoring ones projected by lasers. Sweet.
Post Number: 1854
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 1:08 pm: || |
The only purpose of traffic lights and signage is to convey information. In the "information age" we all know there are now better (cheaper, faster, more reliable) ways ways to fulfil that purpose. Regulatory resistance is likely to be a bigger obstacle than technology, IMHO. Old and new technology would have to overlap until older vehicles retire from the road.
With virtual stoplights, the vehicle as well as the operator would have access to traffic control information. This would allow the vehicle to cooperate in managing traffic situations. E.g., if the vehicle were approaching a hard red light at speed without brakes, it could intervene with alarms then, if necessary, apply its own brakes.
Obviously there are reasons to be cautious with the introduction of such things. If automakers want to get ahead of their foreign competitors, these may be the kinds of innovation they need to explore.
I suspect they've already explored such things but I never seem to hear of any progress. I must be out of that loop.
Post Number: 190
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 1:44 pm: || |
So cyclists need to get windshields and HUD's? Would classic cars no longer be usable on these roads?
IMHO, that water curtain is incredibly silly. Dumping water on roads where cars are expected to stop? What happens when the temperatures get below freezing?
In a world without liability, classic cars, winter, bicyclists, pedestrians, and tight road funding, these ideas might work. From a cost and reliability viewpoint, I think today's traffic control devices work fairly well. (Sorry for being a party pooper!)
Post Number: 478
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 2:03 pm: || |
(cheaper, faster, more reliable)
okay, cool idea, but let's have a reality check.
starting with your wireless idea, you may be right when it comes to faster, but cheaper? Upgrading every intersection to be able to transmit info electronically a couple hundred feet to cars coming from several different directions will be incredibly expensive itself. and it would have to include every intersection whether it has stop signs or traffic signals, or the system is virtually useless.
Then you have to figure the cost of adding this technology to new cars, which will be passed on to consumers at the dealerships. Meanwhile, as you mentioned you have to maintain the existing lights and signs for decades until every car that's not equipped with the system is off the road, so you have all the cost you have now, PLUS that of installing and maintaining a completely new system, at least doubling your current costs.
And then you still have the matter of classic cars - Will the owner of a 1960's muscle car be unable to drive their car any more? or will they be forced to upgrade an otherwise-mint vehicle they want to enjoy, thereby destroying it's resale value?
Then so far as reliability, well, that's a farce too. blocked wireless signals (from buildings and larger vehicles) and interference from nearby traffic signals will undoubtedly put that into question.
Then you have the problem with millions of drivers all depending on their vehicle's electrical system to tell them when to stop. Such a system would encourage people to drive by looking at instruments, throw in some proximity sensors to detect vehicles, pedestrians, and buildings, and you never need to look out the windows again. Do we really want that? One short and next thing you know you've driven through a farmers market, killing dozens.
Going to the link in question, with the water and all - how would that work in the winter or a windy day? It seems a great start on an idea, but is still far from practical in most places.
Sorry to sound so negative, but there's a long way to go before these are feasible ideas for use in the real world. Perhaps someday it will be available as an additional system on top of the existing lights and signs, but it simply won't work as a complete replacement.
Post Number: 1857
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 2:25 pm: || |
The water curtain obviously wouldn't work in this climate. That was only to show that others are thinking of alternatives.
I won't argue the point but I do appreciate the discussion. In general the idea of these kinds of technology shifts is to get indicators closer to the eyes and ears of the operators so they can be smaller and cheaper. The closeup indicators would be more numerous but could be integrated with existing instrument panels in a heads-up configuration.
Post Number: 241
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 2:26 pm: || |
And what about people who have convertibles? I wouldn't want to be that guy on the motorcycle either.
Post Number: 480
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 2:32 pm: || |
Harsensis has a good point too.
More indicators are definitely not a bad thing, and I would welcome their installation in new vehicles. I just don't see any of this replacing a traditional stop light.
Post Number: 220
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 3:10 pm: || |
Speaking of Traffic Control Technology, do half of you guys seen the NEW left turn traffic signal? In case you people don't know what I'm talking about,here's a clip at youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =O-h7bPSAd1A\
Post Number: 1858
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 5:28 pm: || |
New Left Turn Arrows
In Royal Oak
Post Number: 1173
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 6:05 pm: || |
The new signals that are being installed now are all LED signals that are able to be controlled by a single place. If you've noticed them, many also have countdowns for pedestrians so they know how much time they have to safely cross the streets.
Another big advantage of these signals are operation costs. LEDs have about 12 times the life of the ordinary bulbs. This leads to less likelyhood of having intersections with burned out bulbs. They also mean less time that the DPW has to spend on maintaining the signals. Finally the leds only use a fraction of the energy that the traditional bulb uses.
As pointed out, while heads up display are cool, they will lead to confusion for bicyclists, pedestrians and those who drive cars that don't have that kind of technology. It also puts the maintenance of the signal system in the hands of the common man, who in large, would not fix it if it was broken to save a few bucks. This could be very dangerous. While a neat idea. It is not really all that employable.
Post Number: 212
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 7:13 pm: || |
I don't see the stop technology being deployed where it is car specific. HEDs have disadvantages--you can't see them if you have polarized sunglasses, among other problems.
The soft stop doesn't seem to be a good application of technology, well beyond the appropriateness of using water for the display media. No, the biggest problem is that there is no fail-safe mechanism. The waterfall stops working, you lose the laser display. The laser stops working, then you have a puddle.
Also it strikes me odd having a system that sprays water and reduces stopping friction for an area where you want people to stop.
Beyond that, SE Michigan is and has been a hotbed of advanced transportation technology. Between Oakland County and its linked traffic signals, to AATA's advanced operating system, people have looked to this area for guidance.
The Big Three, UM, and MDOT are among the leaders of VII or vehicle infrastructure integration. There are testbeds at the DCX Auburn Hills Tech Center and at the M-5 corridor in Novi. They are both instrumented for some interesting technology.
So, it's not that we could be demonstrating advanced technologies. We *are* at the forefront of shaping technologies for the future.
Post Number: 213
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 7:28 pm: || |
A little more about the VII technology. Standards are being developed and a lot of the technology is already being used for other applications.
One that I think has potential--information about bridge decks that freeze. Currently, there are signs that warn "Watch for Ice On Bridge". It doesn't convey much information when it is 95* out in August.
However, if there was a roadside receiver that polled cars as the temperature dropped through the mid-30s. When cars crossed over the bridge, anyone that touched their brakes (and associated ABS technology) could tell the bridge receiver that the bridge is actually frozen. Then a sign could be activated to warn following cars that the bridge is actually frozen.
Post Number: 1860
|Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 7:40 pm: || |
quote:There we go. That's the kind of innovation we need. Good job!
... could tell the bridge receiver that the bridge is actually frozen.
Post Number: 4102
|Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 12:03 am: || |
I'm still annoyed by that last "traffic control" stuff we had with the "traffic light freeway entrances" on I-94. They installed it, tried it, and then turned it off, only to let the infrastructure sit there for years and years.
All the time it was sitting there unused along I-94, it was a constant reminder of how much governments like to waste our taxpayer dollars.
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 2:20 pm: || |
Those flashing yellow arrow lights will eventually replace all the flashing red left arrows for permissive left turns. They also eliminate the Yellow trap, which isn't too common in Michigan. They are a federal program to bring more commonality to intersections across the united states.
Also it wasn't just here Gitsok, Texas, Ohio also removed their ramp meter lights after they were installed. When they did work they only worked for a few hours a day in Detroit, I think 75 and 94 were the only freeways to have them installed (maybe the lodge). LA still uses them and Vegas was installing them last time I was out there. Some systems are smarter and look at the volume of traffic on the freeway; when it gets heavy they automatically turn on and automatically go off when traffic gets light again.
Post Number: 235
|Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 9:00 am: || |
How right you are Gistok! I would like to know: when did the left turn lane, turn into a right merge lane?