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iPhone camera used to study traffic lights

iphonedashboardtrafficDon’t you just hate it when you’re headed towards a traffic light, brake, only to have the lights turn green 2 seconds later? If you didn’t already know, unnecessary or excessive braking will result in your car wasting energy and fuel due to the amount of fuel required to get your car moving again.

The good news is that a group of researchers from MIT and Princeton University are currently researching when is the best time to stop and restart your cars when at a traffic light. This is accomplished with an iPhone mounted on the dashboard of the car, and through the use of the iPhone’s camera and a GPS system called SignalGuru, it will be able to tell the driver when is the best time to slow the car down in order to help save fuel.

In the US it appears that the system works just fine, and when they tested it out in Cambridge, MA, it was reported that fuel consumption was cut down by 20%. However in other countries such as Singapore, it did not work as well as the researchers hope as the length of traffic lights in Singapore are determined by the amount of traffic in that particular area.

Given that fuel efficiency is the current buzzword, let’s hope that this system becomes more widespread and find its way to standalone devices or other smartphone platforms!

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