The best way of managing an intersection with Self-Driving Technology: this is what Paolo Santi (researcher at the Institute for Informatics and Telematics of the Italian National Council of Research) have done at the Senseable City Lab of the MIT, in which he has partecipated and coordinated the scientific part.
“I have tried to identy the best way of managing the intersection assuming that you can tell exactly each vehicle when to arrive to the intersection” says the Italian researcher of the Cnr. “So the right to cross the intersection is not given to a group of vehicles but through this study is possible to give the right to a single vehicle, which is the advantage of this approach. The sistem is much more flexible, and so you have more many vehicles to cross the intersection in the same time, and this is extremely advantageous in cities where traffici s a big problem”.
To make this project a reality and more understandable also for a common people, during the Internet Festival, “we designed an installation and through it we had a comparison between real intersection in Boston” continues Paolo Santi, “and we were able to see how the different traffic management system, the traffic light of one side and our autonomous intersection algorithm on the other side could deal with the traffic, number of vehicles, etc.
The idea was to have a console table: the users can change parameters like the numbers of vehicles approaching from each direction, introduce, through a nice button, the arrival of a pedestrian in order to see how the two system react to pedestrians”.
With this installation, the users could see in real time the performance of the two systems and compare them in term of the emissions, for instance, that are generated by the vehicles on the road and also the delay which is the amount of time the vehicles need to cross the intersection. The goal was to convince people that this kind of new technology really can provide enormous benefit in cities and to relieve traffic, that is a huge problem worldwide.