Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETHZ), and the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have developed slot-based intersections that could replace traditional traffic lights, significantly reducing queues and delays. This idea is based on a scenario where sensor-laden vehicles pass through intersections by communicating and remaining at a safe distance from each other, rather than grinding to a halt at traffic lights.

This approach based on slot-based intersections is flexible and can be designed to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle crossing with vehicular traffic.

The model provides a performance breakthrough: all safety requirements being equal, traffic efficiency is doubled with respect to current state-of-the-art traffic lights. With today's traffic volumes, queues would vanish and travel delays would be cut to almost zero.

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Remi Tachet, Paolo Santi, Stan Sobolevsky, Luis Reyes-Castro, Emilio Frazzoli, Dirk Helbing, Carlo Ratti.
Revisiting Street Intersections using Slot-Based Systems.
PloS ONE, 2016


Carlo Ratti

Software Engineering

Paolo Santi, Remi Tachet

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