Traffic lights help manage the flow of traffic, but it might not necessarily be the most environmentally-friendly solution. What do we mean by that? Basically while at a traffic light, a car remains idle while the light is red. In turn, fuel is being burned as cars wait for the light to turn green.
This means that essentially cars are burning fuel for no good reason, which then contributes to pollution. However, over in Israel, Google has decided to conduct a test where they will use AI to try and make traffic lights more efficient by studying and observing traffic flow, and then using that data to try and time the lights better.
Based on the pilot program that was tested in Israel in partnership with the municipalities of Haifa, Beer-Sheva and the Israel National Roads Company, the company claims that by using AI, they observed a 10-20% reduction in fuel and intersection delay time. In a way this makes sense, because if a car could go from point A to point B without having to stop, the amount of fuel consumed should in theory be less.
Of course, having fully electric cars would solve this problem, but until the entire world makes a 100% transmission to electric, we imagine that fuel-powered cars will continue to remain the norm for the foreseeable future. Google says that they now plan to take this system and test it out in Rio de Janeiro and are in talks with other cities around the world as well.