Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton Univertsity have developed a new smart phone app called the SignalGuru. Developers claim the app can help reduce fuel consumption in cars by as much much as 20 per cent, simply by avoiding red lights. The only problem with the SignalGuru app is that in order for it to work effectively, multiple motorist must be using it at the same time.
It works by using the camera on a phone which is mounted on the car’s dashboard facing out of the windscreen. The camera reads the traffic lights ahead and logs the information. This information is then sent to other SignalGuru app users in the surrounding area. Cars that are further behind in traffic can then make decisions to avoid the red lights.
According to the developers, SignalGuru has been tested in Cambridge, US, where it returned positive results. Fuel consumption was cut by as much as 20 per cent thanks to the app advising drivers of the best speed to travel.
The SignalGuru does this by giving the driver an indication of the best legal speed he or she should be driving at to avoid an upcoming red light. It may sound a bit far-fetched, but if every motorist used it, researchers say the app could help cut commuting time as well as fuel consumption by a reasonable margin.
It does seem like a good idea and it touches on technologies that manufacturers are already working on – cars that communicate with each other. What do you think of the technology? Is this form of car-to-car communication a good idea? Could it help reduce time spent on the roads and money spent on fuel? Feel free to give us your thoughts below.