Print 77 comment(s) - last by drycrust3.. on Jun 18 at 2:54 PM

  (Source: Damjan Stankovic via
IBM patent goes Big Brother

Running red lights and failure to stop leads to untold numbers of traffic accidents around the world. Sitting at a red light with cars idling also burns fuel that really isn’t needed.

IBM has filed a patent application that outlines a system that would turn the motors of a car off at a traffic light to conserve fuel. Few will take issue with green technology that conserves fuel, saves them money, and reduces pollution. However, there is a dark side to the patent application that privacy advocates will not like.

The system IBM is proposing has to have access to the engine of the vehicles at the light to stop the engine. With access to the engine, the traffic lights can not only stop the engine of a driver's car, but it can also determine the duration that the engine is stopped and then when the light is over it can start the motors of the cars up in sequential order so the first cars at the light get to go first. The system would use GPS data to know where vehicles were located at the light.

The patent application reads:

Vehicle fuel consumption is a major component of global energy consumption. With increasing vehicle usage, there may be more traffic and longer wait times at traffic signals (e.g., at a traffic intersection or a railway crossing). Fuel may be wasted when drivers keep their vehicles running while waiting for the traffic signal to turn "green" or waiting for a train to pass at a railway crossing. Most drivers may not switch off their engines in these situations. Drivers who do switch off their engines may do so inefficiently. For example, a driver may switch off the engine, only to start it up a short time later. In such cases, more fuel may be consumed in restarting the engine. Some traffic signals may have clocks that indicate remaining durations before the signals change. However, drivers in vehicles waiting at the back of the queue may not be able to view the clock.

There are other aspects of this technology that the patent application doesn't spell out. For instance, this system would make it impossible for a driver to run a red light. There could also be safety issues to a system such as this. For instance, what if a driver had a medical emergency and the light turned off the car making it impossible to reach a hospital. The system would require software and hardware be installed on vehicles at an unknown cost.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Is this a joke??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 10:23:31 AM , Rating: 5
Keep your fucking patents out of the drivers seat of MY car, IBM. I refuse to accept that suddenly, after decades and decades, red light traffic accident's call for extreme measures like this.

I refuse to accept any device in an automobile of mine that circumvents my control or exerts it's own. Cars that park themselves? Cars that stop themselves? How is ANY of this going to lead to drivers making better decisions? So instead of enforcing proper car usage, we're just going to engineer our way around it and create a new breed of spoiled, unaware, dependent on gadget morons behind the wheel. Brilliant!

RE: Is this a joke??
By Brandon Hill on 5/26/2010 10:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
Luckily, start-stop systems for engines are being implemented (albeit slowly), which could eliminate at least the "eco-friendly" aspect of this patent application.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Micronite on 5/26/2010 10:51:16 AM , Rating: 5
I think the point is that IBM files patents for everything (they've almost always been #1 in filed patents). That way, if anyone wants to market something similar, they can usually collect royalties for it.
They don't actually have to be the ones selling it.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Mitch101 on 5/26/2010 11:06:19 AM , Rating: 4
I think I know where the idea for this came from and I cant blame them.

In Charlotte Off Harris Blvd is IBM drive and the people who work at Wachovia ignore the traffic lights so badly that you will see 3-5 cars run through the red light crossing over Harris blvd and causing gridlock on this major road. At least once a week I am nearly side swiped by the extra cars running the red light coming from Wachovia. Plenty of cars get through the light when its green its just that the people at Wachovia here continue to pass through the intersection blocking the other side from getting a car through. So I wouldn't be surprised if someone from IBM is getting tired of Wackovia drivers mucking up Harris Blvd. First Union merged with Wachovia some time ago and the joke was you know First Unions initials right? F.U. Now they are owned by Wells Fargo. But since IBM is here I bet thats where the idea came from. Sounds like a Wacko patent but its really Wackovia drivers that started it all. :)

RE: Is this a joke??
By paydirt on 5/26/2010 3:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, if you know people run a certain red light, then don't proceed into the intersection until the cars in the offending lane are stopped. Otherwise, it's your own damn fault for either being stubborn or not thinking ahead.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Mitch101 on 5/26/2010 6:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
You literally will have the green for a full 3 seconds and they are still blowing through the light and changing lanes forcing their way in. There are three lanes and they will whip to the full outside at times which is your closest lane. Sometimes they just dont care and block traffic because there is no longer any room for them to cut in thats where you really have to watch out because they will change a lane because they are about to block traffic.

There are 3 intersections there that practically every light change someone is plowing through the red lights 2-3 seconds after its changed to red. The cars coming from Wachovia's campus are by far the worst offenders of this. Cops could write 2-5 tickets on each light change.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 12:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
Luckily, start-stop systems for engines are being implemented (albeit slowly), which could eliminate at least the "eco-friendly" aspect of this patent application.

Stop-start systems are as equally unwarranted. They only actually save fuel if you are stopped at an interminably long time. How many times have you stopped a red light only to have it turn green a few seconds later? Countless times. Stop-start systems in most situations not only would use more fuel, but add entirely too much wear and tear to an engine.

Plus, of course, the premise behind them is asinine. That idling cars are killing the planet or some such nonsense. We're all tired of hearing that crap. I'll turn my car on and off when I see fit, because I am licensed by my state and have met the qualifications of a competent vehicle operator. It should be OUR decisions to make, not a computers.

RE: Is this a joke??
By AnnihilatorX on 5/26/2010 6:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
Man if you read the patent, it is trying to create vehicle uplinks to vehicle comptuer from information of the traffic light, so that, if the traffic light is going to be red for a while, it will tell the car to stop the engine, not always when it's red, hence the word intelligient

Secondly, while you think you are a competent vehicle operator, there are many who think they are but aren't.

Having said that, traffic light systems that optimise traffic flow and reduce stop-start behavior will ultimately save more fuel I think.

RE: Is this a joke??
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 3:22:45 PM , Rating: 3
<quest>Stop-start systems are as equally unwarranted. They only actually save fuel if you are stopped at an interminably long time. How many times have you stopped a red light only to have it turn green a few seconds later? Countless times. Stop-start systems in most situations not only would use more fuel, but add entirely too much wear and tear to an engine.</quest>
An engine restart uses the same amount of fuel that's consumed by 0.7 seconds of idling:

Thus, even a few seconds will save you time.
Second, as long as the engine oil has warmed up to operating temperature, there won't be any extra wear and tear on the engine. A smart start-stop system won't be activated in cold engine temperatures.

RE: Is this a joke??
By iFX on 5/26/2010 10:27:19 AM , Rating: 5
IBM's R&D divisions are huge. Most people these days forget that IBM is a hardware manufacturing company first. They have insane R&D going all the time. Chances are if you have an idea, IBM had it 10 years ago but just couldn't make it work that available tech from the aera and have spent the last ten years creating the tech. Tablet PCs are an example, IBM thought them up in the 70s.

All of this is to say that most of the stuff IBM comes up with they don't ever put into production, much of it is designed for some other project and they use examples like this traffic light thing as a proof of concept for a technology they have developed.

RE: Is this a joke??
By ClownPuncher on 5/26/2010 2:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
Like many many other inventions attributed to IBM, the original tablet PC designs were done by PARC, which is Xerox. Alan Kay = the man.

RE: Is this a joke??
By iFX on 5/26/2010 6:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
The concept is all IBM dating back to 1974...

RE: Is this a joke??
By Camikazi on 5/26/2010 10:33:08 AM , Rating: 3
I don't like this, first of all doesn't a car use a rather large amount of fuel when starting up (like a computer an big electrical spike when turning on) making the fuel conservation at a red light low if a gain at all (depends how long light is red). Secondly, stopping people from running red lights might be a good idea, but, are these systems gonna slam on the breaks too, cause if it just turns off the engine the car will coast and probably stop in the middle of the intersection while the light is green for cross traffic. This just seems to not help at all, this might just make things worse, specially with a big truck being stopped at a light, big rigs tend to be more efficient leaving them on for short periods then turning off and starting up in same time.

RE: Is this a joke??
By clovell on 5/26/2010 12:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel efficiency, privacy, forget all that. 90% of engine wear happens during startup. I'll let you guys figure out the rest of the math here.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Kurz on 5/26/2010 12:19:30 PM , Rating: 4
On a cold engine.

RE: Is this a joke??
By clovell on 5/26/2010 12:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
Fair point. Even on a warm engine, though - how many stop lights do you hit during an average commute?

RE: Is this a joke??
By Chernobyl68 on 5/26/2010 12:43:45 PM , Rating: 5
Anywhere from 0 to a dozen, depending on how much I've pissed off fate that day.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2010 2:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to agree that a basic start-stop system is useless for saving fuel. You rather pinpoint it on the head that you aren't stopped long enough. Also, at least with my farthers' Civic Hybrid, the second you let off the brake the engine starts up. How many times have you seen people who "creep" at the lights? Every time they do that the engine would start-stop, wasting more fuel. A true hybrid system like in a Prius is a much better solution/system. Those creepers won't start-stop the engine and you can travel the first couple seconds during acceleration on battery. That helps quite a bit when it comes to mileage.

That said, in a car where the engine is designed to start-stop like in hybrids you'd be a fool to think it starts the same as regular cars. I can't say it for certain about ALL hybrid, but many of them have larger starter motors. That way it revs up higher before starting. Less wear and tear. Don't know how much it helps, but it really isn't THAT bad. Have you heard about all the hybrids hitting 100k miles with little wear and tear?

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Is this a joke??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 10:42:38 AM , Rating: 2
How can you feel the same as me, but then call me paranoid??

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2010 10:59:11 AM , Rating: 1
Because people do need to learn to do things like that on their own, but they will also never have the knowledge/information or reaction times of a computer. It's just physically impossible. You just take it to more of an extreme.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 11:28:02 AM , Rating: 3
You don't NEED the reaction times of a computer to safely drive a car though. If you DO need it, it means you are driving too fast and following too close etc etc.

Also, in life, accidents happen. They just do.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2010 3:09:47 PM , Rating: 1
Your last sentence rather makes my point. If you had a system that controlled everything you wouldn't really have accidents. You'd have some still. I mean, who predicts blowouts, malfunctions, and other such stuff. You just wouldn't have all the accidents that are caused by distracted drivers, and that's a lot more than actual accidents.

I have no trouble driving the way things are now, but I'm obviously not your average driver. Too many retards on the road, you know? Only choices are a system to control everything or to restrict who can drive. Everyone thinks driving is a right though so that wouldn't go over too well.

RE: Is this a joke??
By rcc on 5/26/2010 4:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, your list of things for the "system" to do waaay exceeds state of the art. What do you think this system is going to do in the event of a blowout that a competent driver can't? Does it know that it might be better to let the car slide off the road to avoid the parked car, pedestrian, curb that will flip you, etc. Even assuming the hardware and software was capable of making those decisions, the cost would be astronoical.

Personally, even if it was possible today, I wouldn't want all that crap in my car. Although, come to think of it I can think of a few people that might benefit.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2010 6:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't suggest any of what I said was possible today. In fact, I have suggested that it's not possible today, just that it's obviously the best way to go in the long run.

The list of things this system would have to know and take into account is astronomical. It'd probably still be infeasible even in 50-100 years, though anything can change. The thing is this. Look at this like you would look at playing poker. Sure, unless you have no chance of winning you're doomed no matter what; but, the best poker players pretty much play by the numbers, aka statistics. Luck and chance have a part in everything, but most of the time it doesn't matter. 50-50 chances are where luck plays the most part, with neither choice being the best choice. The stats will always be on the side of any computer driven application, provided it has all the details/information. That is also what makes it very difficult to actually implement. Getting all the information is basically an impossible task.

My point is that a computer will almost certainly have the odds in it's favor every time even if it won't be correct every time. Even the smallest difference in statistics make a big difference. You only have to look at card counters at blackjack to know that.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 7:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
So admitting all that, you still argue with me because... for the sake of arguing?

Seriously wtf are you wasting my time for?

RE: Is this a joke??
By clovell on 5/26/2010 12:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I can handle cars that park themselves (Ford) or help stop themselves (Volvo) - as long as I have ultimate control over the vehicle.

I'd be more open to a system that, say, broadcasts a very short range radio signal to cars, indicating that the light is red. If manufacturers want to incorporate optional systems that are easily toggled on/off, that would then allow the vehicle to turn itself on/off based on this - I'm cool with it.

So long as it's like cruise control - off by default, does what I tell it - I'm cool. Doesn't sounds like that's what they're plannign though...

RE: Is this a joke??
By ZachDontScare on 5/26/2010 4:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think you need to patent THAT right now, before IBM steals it. Its a much better, more feasable, and more reasonable idea.

RE: Is this a joke??
By adiposity on 5/26/2010 12:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Keep your fucking patents out of the drivers seat of MY car, IBM. I refuse to accept that suddenly, after decades and decades, red light traffic accident's call for extreme measures like this.

Come on, IBM is just patenting an application. Governments would be the ones who would make our lives miserable with this sort of thing.

Granted, IBM is making it easier. But in a free market, shouldn't IBM have the right to make terrible technology?

RE: Is this a joke??
By frobizzle on 5/26/2010 12:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Picture the middle of February...Temperature is -10F, snow falling at half an inch an hour. Traffic running dog slow. A traffic light is ahead but traffic is backed up a mile or more in each direction.

Now, thanks to this new technology, my engine is shut off while I sit waiting??? Uh, no thanks! This may sound good in the warmer climates but here in the frigid north, we don't want any of this crap!

RE: Is this a joke??
By marvdmartian on 5/26/2010 2:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
Your post reminded me of when I lived in Modesto, CA, back in the late 80's, and they had "cruise night" every Wednesday evening.

Can you imagine it? Traffic moved slow as a snail anyways, but now they'd have all those cars, stacked up bumper to bumper, shutting off all at once! Sort of takes the cool factor out of cruising, doesn't it? ;)

Also, what about those of us that want to do a right on red?

RE: Is this a joke??
By ZachDontScare on 5/26/2010 4:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
And what happens when a car fails to re-start... causing a massive traffic jam? Whats that going to 'cost', in terms of lost time and productivity, the economy?

RE: Is this a joke??
By Hieyeck on 5/26/2010 1:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was coming back from a long drive when my radio started sounding funny. Immediately, I shifted to neutral and revved the engine - solved the problem for about 2 minutes. GREAT, dying battery (old car - 18 year-old factory original battery inside!) I made it to the closest shop through two dozen red lights and rush hour because I didn't let my car stop revving.

I absolutely REFUSE to believe a machine (at current levels of automation) will understand the situation better than me.

If this gets put into production, I can't wait for the first lawsuit because an ambulance got switched off running a red light.

RE: Is this a joke??
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2010 2:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why do so many people assume this is going to be a super simple system? There is no way in hell they'd just shut off EVERY car on a road, even only a portion of a road, just because the light turned red. It's just not that simple. You'd have multitude of issues, many of which have been stated already.

RE: Is this a joke??
By myhipsi on 5/27/2010 10:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree whole-heartedly Reclaimer. Remember, this patent is coming from a company who helped fascilitate (by way of their punch card computers) the extermination of six million Jews during the holocaust. So, is it any surpise?

RE: Is this a joke??
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 3:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Godwin's Law...

By Ard on 5/26/2010 11:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
How is that not a safety hazard? Here's a very simple example that I'm sure most drivers have experienced. You're approaching an intersection and the light turns yellow. You decide to gun it, thinking you'll get through in time. As you're passing through the intersection, the light turns red. Now, the question is, will your engine cut off while you're in the middle of the damn intersection because if it does you're royally screwed.

RE: Dangerous
By Anoxanmore on 5/26/2010 11:40:13 AM , Rating: 4
Easy solution? Don't gun it through a yellow, last I checked yellow meant caution, not speed up.

RE: Dangerous
By frobizzle on 5/26/2010 12:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
What does a yellow light mean? Reverend Jim wondered that, too!

RE: Dangerous
By ZachDontScare on 5/26/2010 4:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
One of my favorite all-time TV moments.

RE: Dangerous
By Schrag4 on 5/26/2010 1:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yellow means "clear the intersection." Caution is always advised, but sometimes it's safer to speed up and clear an intersection rather than slamming on the brakes and coming to a halt with your front bumper IN the intersection (and therefore not clearing it at all).

RE: Dangerous
By clovell on 5/26/2010 12:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I don't think that's at all what IBM intends - it seems the author just wanted to throw that part in...

What about the hacker...
By Simozene on 5/26/2010 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
...that decides to randomly shut-off cars while people are driving? I think this safety issue far outweighs any possible advantages of this technology.

RE: What about the hacker...
By gamerk2 on 5/26/2010 10:34:50 AM , Rating: 1
Nevermind teh reliance on a handful of statallites in orbit...[GPS]. We almost had the entire GPS net go down last month due to delays getting replacement statallites up, so what happens if the GPS net is not avaliable to start up the card in sequence?

RE: What about the hacker...
By Gyres01 on 5/26/2010 10:49:52 AM , Rating: 4
This is effing about making the systems that control the stoplights smarter ?? I mean how many times have we been stuck at a red light and there isn't even a car coming the other direction !! And don't get me started on the middle of the night timers....

RE: What about the hacker...
By Anoxanmore on 5/26/2010 12:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
Most intersections in a city have a sensor that will trigger a timer to start running when a car shows up at a red light and the opposite direction is green.

Especially after certain hours at night.

RE: What about the hacker...
By Camikazi on 5/26/2010 6:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Those already exist, they are used where I live, there are pressure plates at the line at an intersection that starts a timer to change the light quicker if no cars are coming through cross traffic. One is at the first light when I leave work, is kind of fun to stop right behind the pressure plate when many are leaving work and pretend you don't know about it, keeping the light red on purpose :P Of course I only do that when it's people I know behind me :)

I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 10:54:19 AM , Rating: 1
2025 - Toyota MotorCorp is under heavy scrutiny for complaints of unintended deacceleration. Drivers have complained that their car suddenly stopped causing the cars behind them to ram into them. So far 89 deaths have been linked to this issue.

RE: I can see it now
By EasyC on 5/26/2010 12:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
That depends on if Government Motors is still around.

RE: I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly some people did not catch my sarcasm.

RE: I can see it now
By EasyC on 5/26/2010 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, you didn't catch mine.

RE: I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 5:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry EasyC was not reffering to you. Was directed at the person who rated me down. Must have been a toyota owner heh.

RE: I can see it now
By aoskunk on 6/18/2010 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
how do you rate somebody down? i dont see the option anywhere, i even googled it.

There are some major engineering holes here
By zmatt on 5/26/2010 10:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
If the system does stop the car i could see some issues with very sudden stops without warning to drivers behind you. That could create wrecks. if it doesn't stop you then loss of engine power means loss of power braking assist. I could see some older or sick drivers not being able to fully stop and rolling into the street. Also bad.

The way to get around that would involve a complex system using accurate gps's and a computer system to control the braking of cars involved. Of course this means massive overhead (run by who? the city? state?, car mfr? IBM?)It wouldn't be cheap and could easily run into problems. Not to mention the privacy backlash that such a thing would create. And it would be handicapped by not all cars being in the system.

To be honest I would not worry too much. Big companies like IBM patent anything they come up with even just to make sure other people can't figure out a way to make it work and market it. This technology (IMO) has some serious hurdles and I doubt it will ever be used.

But if they do, I will refuse to buy a new car so equipped. And if the feds mandate it, well I'm driving old cars.

By VahnTitrio on 5/26/2010 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention what if traffic is being directed by a police officer for whatever reason.

Or what if it's winter and I want my heater running? Or the summer and my AC?

I think you are correct that we will never see this implemented. I do however like the countdown to green red light in the picture, that actually is useful.

The Future of Intersections...we (IBM) own you
By xeddit on 5/26/2010 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather not have IBM or any other vendor control MY property while I am driving my car on the road. If people are offending traffic signs and basic driving 101, then those people should be taken off the road. Don't impose your tech on my freedom to drive and idle.. well until my car gets stop/start tech or the roads become fully automated then I won't care who shuts down my engine or changes my lane...

But even then, no to IBM since they'll just outsource it to some low cost call center...

Tech - Hello, what is your problem?
Me - My car stopped
Tech - No not in scope, we don't car shop
Me - m-y c-a-r s-t-o-p-p-e-d
Tech - No, sorry we can't help you. Can we close this ticket now?
you know the rest of the story...

By mc2w on 5/26/2010 10:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oddly enough, this reminds me of Ubisoft's ridiculous DRM on their latest games... (Anybody remember the whole uproar over Assassin's Creed 2 for the PC? I sure do.)

No worries...
By sviola on 5/26/2010 1:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately, there are no criminals that rob people on stop lights anywhere in the world, so nothing to worry about having your engine shutdown every 150 feet...

RE: No worries...
By ians55 on 5/26/2010 5:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
Here comes IBM automotive patent N2: red light stops your car and locks it tight :)

By steelincable on 5/28/2010 11:23:26 AM , Rating: 3
I 've
B een
M isled

Certainly not a good idea...
By kieran1968 on 5/29/2010 3:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
I sat at a red light and happened to glance in my rear view and saw a car approaching too fast to be able to stop without hitting me. I moved forward perhaps 5 -10 feet and just gave enough room to stop, preventing an accident. Shunts from the rear can cause awful injuries to the spine, even gentle, seemingly innocuous taps.

I also had my daughter in a child seat in the back of the car, and perhaps only speculation, but she could have suffered a serious injury as well.

This is an awful idea, and in my case, could I have sued IBM? I doubt it. On paper, it looks wonderful, but in practice, it's appalling. Please leave the judgment call to a human being, and not to a computer.

By rburnham on 5/26/2010 10:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that what we really need are engines that idle much more efficiently than they do now.

The only way this makes sense...
By DanNeely on 5/26/2010 10:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
... is as part of the eventual autonomous car future that takes humans out of the drivers seat. Unfortunately for big blue I suspect that their patent will expire first denying them any revenue gathering opportunities from it.

Braking and Steering
By mgilbert on 5/26/2010 10:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
Virtually every car on the road today has power steering and power brakes. Shutting the engine off would seriously hamper a driver's ability to steer and stop.

I don't mind technology that makes my car safer, but a collision avoidance system would be far better at preventing accidents at intersections.

By Motoman on 5/26/2010 11:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
...and when there's an 18-wheeler with bad brakes barrelling down on you from behind - and you car is "turned off" and you can't get out of the way?

Or when there's a firetruck/ambulance/whatever that needs to get through? Oh sure - "the system will account for that" - until that doesn't work, and somebody dies because of this stupid thing.

Can we please focus our creative energies on solving actual problems in this world? You know...stuff that matters and is worth our time?

preventive patent
By Murloc on 5/26/2010 11:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
they ain't gonna use this.

It's just stupid and costs too much.
What if the traffic lights computer blocks (it happens often enough)?
what if an ambulance comes and all the cars can't pull aside because they can't turn on the motor?

Ecoterrorists would hack it and stop all the vehicle in a city.
And mafia killers could stop the victim's car.

a simple quote
By EasyC on 5/26/2010 11:51:44 AM , Rating: 2
"Why did you stop at a red light and let me hit you doing 80???"


Impossible to run a red light?
By Chernobyl68 on 5/26/2010 12:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
ever hear of momentum?

What drivers really want
By frobizzle on 5/26/2010 12:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
Dear IBM,

Many of us do not want nor need this cockamamie idea of yours. Please stop wasting money on it and dedicate your research to some really useful improvements like:

A grenade launcher to take care of the moron driving and texting in the car in front of me!

I'm filing a patent then...
By Golgatha on 5/26/2010 1:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to patent a directional device that broadcasts all the vehicle shutoff codes, so I can keep people from tailgating me.

what about the funerals
By nut on u on 5/26/2010 2:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
has ibm thought about what will happen when funeral lines continuously run the red lights

By cruisin3style on 5/26/2010 2:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm confused on the relevancy of the first paragraph, that relates information about running red lights and accidents.

If this is to somehow put the idea in people's heads that this system could stop this from happening, just let me know when shutting off an engine of a car about to run a red light equates to that car coming to a halting stop at that red light.

Or was this just dailytech sensationalism?

Oh please Great Red Stop Light
By btc909 on 5/26/2010 9:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
I can imagine a camera looking through the windshield & based on my facial expression the "Great Red Stop Light" will decide to leave my engine off. Or maybe if I say something negative about that bleeping "Great Red Stop Light" will have a directional microphone with voice recognition determine I said something bad about having to wait once again the "Great Red Stop Light" will decide to leave my engine off.

My Patent...
By jdsal on 5/26/2010 10:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
is a heat seeking gattling gun mounted on stop lights. Since cameras are an invasion of privacy -not sure how that can be argued since you are on a public road- and cannot be used, a gattling gun doesn't invade your privacy. Now emergency vehicles can carry a transmitter to disable the gun, but light runners' engines will be obliterated if they try to run.

I hope to hear from the patent office anyday now. /sarcasm

By mindless1 on 5/27/2010 12:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
"Few will take issue with green technology that conserves fuel, saves them money, and reduces pollution."

Actually, this country was founded on the idea of freedom, not conservation, greed, and being green.

I and many others, not "few", are not puppets that were tricked into thinking the sky is falling and a small extension of how long mankind has oil reserves matters in the grand scheme of things.

Whether mankind has to deal with its crises in 2030 or can put it off a few more years is not as important as the means to that end.

Screw that
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 3:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
Where is my "Electrocution" anti-theft system, as seen in a mock commercial in Robocop?

Not needed.
By drycrust3 on 6/18/2010 2:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Running red lights and failure to stop leads to untold numbers of traffic accidents around the world.

There is an easy solution: RED LIGHT CAMERAS! These days, with even cheap point and shoot cameras having video and computer interfacing capability, it shouldn't be hard to make a camera that videos an intersection during the orange - red phase, so that if a car goes through the intersection while the light is red then the video could be at the police dispatch centre before the car has reached the next set of lights.
I do think they need to define exactly when a vehicle is legal and when it isn't because the lights are designed with a "rolling" traffic flow at the legal speed limit, not bumper to bumper peak hour congestion. In these conditions you can be on a green light, but have to wait for a space to appear at the other side of the intersection, and when it does you take off on a green light, but by the time you arrive at the other side of the intersection the traffic lights are red. This is especially so in a large vehicle such as a bus or truck.

Sitting at a red light with cars idling also burns fuel that really isn’t needed.

This sort of thinking just shows what is wrong with governments. This isn't about burning fuel, it is about how the local city council can't organise traffic so that it flows, or if you are more cynical, how they create congestion.
It wasn't until I became a professional driver that I realised how easy it was to not have congestion, and how easy and cheaply things could be done to keep the traffic flowing, and how difficult it was to get these ideas into the head of the local council.
Sure, I concede the sorts of things that need to be done "infringe" upon peoples right to hold up traffic for 3 or 4 minutes so they can turn into some road that has carries about 10 cars an hour at peak times, but those people could have organised their trip better (and yes, I also concede it does infringe on their right not to have to do that as well), but really, isn't sticking radio devices into a car to turn the engine on and off at our expense also infringing on our rights too?

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki