Improving traffic signal timing with a handful of connected vehicles

With GPS data from as little as 6% of vehicles on the road, University of Michigan researchers can recalibrate traffic signals to significantly reduce congestion and delays at intersections.

In an 18-month pilot study conducted in Birmingham, Michigan, the team used connected vehicle data insights provided by General Motors to test its system, resulting in a 20% to 30% decrease in the number of stops at signalized intersections. GM vehicles make up 6-10% of cars currently on the road in the United States.

Officially, it’s the world’s first large-scale, cloud-based traffic signal retiming system, and it represents a major opportunity for communities to recalibrate their signal patterns at a reduced cost. U-M’s research appears in Nature Communications.

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