The end of traffic lights
Yesterday – for some reason – I was thinking about self-driving cars. And I realized that when all the cars on the road are self-driving, there won’t be a need for traffic lights. Years ago, I worked the midnight shift at this place, and I don’t know how many times I’d be driving through town at midnight with absolutely no other traffic, and I’d get stuck at a red light that was on a timer. I’d sit there for over a minute almost screaming, “There’s no f---ing point to this!” But if I had a self-driving car, it would get on the self-driving chat network and ask, “I’m approaching Intersection 15743486N. Is anyone else approaching it?” When it found out no one else was coming, it would just zip on through; no fuss, no muss.
Of course, the really interesting thing would be intersections with lots of traffic. Now, one direction stops so the cross traffic can go. But if all the cars can talk to each other, then they’d work out the timing so that there would be gaps in front of and behind every car that would be wide enough so the cross traffic can go through. At first, these gaps would be rather big because if you’re zipping along at 50 mph and another car passes in front of you with just inches to spare, it would give many of us old-timers heart attacks. But as the generations got used to the idea, the gaps would become smaller, until cars passing within inches of each other became normal. Or maybe, instead of windows we’ll just have screens so we can watch movies as we’re driven to where we’re going.
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/traffic-lights-road-sign-red-yellow-514932/ by Didgeman