The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles, which would be linked to traffic lights so that fully-automated convoys could pass quickly through urban areas.In future, running a red light might be a good way to get crushed.
The new gadget, which attaches to the windscreen like a Sat Nav, detects traffic lights from around 100 metres away and requests priority so that they switch to green as soon as the car arrives. It also tells drivers of the speed they should be driving to make sure they always hit a green light in the event of traffic.
Currently the ground-breaking system is being trialled by the North East Ambulance patient transport service, who are hoping it will improve safety, create a smoother ride for patients and cut fuel bills.
And the Highways Agency is considering a scheme to allow driverless freight vehicles to travel the six miles between Nissan in Sunderland and Port of Tyne at night, using the new technology to pass quickly through a series of green lights.In principle, there's no reason those freight cars couldn't be coupled.
Read down, though, and contemplate whether the engineers aren't considering making people adapt to the technology, rather than ensuring that the technology adapts to people.
There are also plans in the pipeline to allow older people to carry smart cards which would link up to the traffic light system and give them more time to cross the road at pedestrian crossings.I await the first police-blotter item involving a pensioner mugged for the over-ride card.