Millennium Post

New wireless system reduces traffic congestion

New wireless system reduces traffic congestion
The new system, dubbed RoadRunner, developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) uses GPS-style turn-by-turn directions to route drivers.

In simulations using data supplied by Singapore’s Land Transit Authority, the researchers compared their system to one currently in use in Singapore, which charges drivers with dashboard-mounted
transponders a toll for entering congested areas.

The Singapore system gauges drivers’ locations with radio transmitters mounted on dozens of gantries scattered around the city, like the gantries used in many US wireless toll systems.

RoadRunner, by contrast, uses only handheld devices clipped to cars’ dashboards. In the simulations, it yielded an 8 per cent increase in average car speed during periods of peak congestion. For purposes of comparison, the MIT researchers restricted themselves to road-access patterns dictated by Singapore’s existing toll system.

Modifying those patterns — encouraging or discouraging the use of different stretches of road — could, in principle, lead to even greater efficiency gains.

Jason Gao, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science who developed the new system together with his advisor, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Li-Shiuan Peh also tested the system on 10 cars in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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