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Researchers Working to Improve AI that Controls Traffic Lights

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city traffic light

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at Texas A&M are working on technology to make traffic lights change more efficiently with the goal of reducing wait times at intersections.

Guni Sharon, a Texas A&M computer science and engineering professor, says current switchers use a very basic form of artificial intelligence that's based mostly on the number of cars waiting at any particular intersection. Sharon and his team are developing technology that is capable of teaching those switchers how to take other factors into account, including approaching cars from other directions, speed limits, the number of lanes on the road, and even traffic flows and trends based on the time of day.

Computer simulations show the team's technology can reduce intersection wait times by as much as 20%.

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