Ever found yourself stuck at the lights convinced that whatever is controlling these things is just trying to test your patience, and that you could do a better job? Well, turns out you might — at least partly — be right. Researchers at the University of Southampton have just revealed that they are investigating the use of artificial intelligence-based traffic lights, with the hope that it could be used in next-generation road signals. The research uses video games and simulations to asses different traffic control systems, and apparently us humans do a pretty good job. The team at Southampton hope that they will be to emulate this human-like approach with new “machine learning” software. With cars already being tested out with WiFi, mobile connectivity and GPS on board for accident prevention, a system such as this could certainly have a lot of data to tap into. There’s no indication as to when we might see a real world trial, but at least we’re reminded, for once, that as a race we’re not quite able to be replaced by robotic overlords entirely.
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