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Vehicles – Fuel savings green light

A preliminary study by ORNL and GRIDSMART shows promise of a new system to keep trucks moving through intersections and reduce fuel consumption. Credit: Thomas Karnowski/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Large trucks lumbering through congested cities could become more fuel efficient simply by not having to stop at so many traffic lights.

 A proof-of-concept study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows promise of a potential new system to direct traffic lights to keep less-efficient vehicles moving and reduce fuel consumption.

In collaboration with traffic-management services company GRIDSMART, researchers used smart cameras to collect real-world data from images of vehicles as they move through select intersections.

The team used artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to “teach” these cameras how to quickly identify each vehicle type and its estimated gas mileage, sending the information to the next intersection’s traffic light.

ORNL’s Thomas Karnowski said early results from the computer simulation could lead to more comprehensive research.