CAN AI IMPROVE TRAFFIC IN CALIFORNIA?
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants California to use artificial intelligence to improve traffic flow and reduce emissions, and tech companies have about two weeks to pitch their ideas. AI could help sift through all the traffic sensors and traffic cameras to better time traffic lights and also identify corridors with poor lighting, difficult traffic patterns and bad driving in order to reduce fatalities. Google is already testing “project green light” in 12 cities around the world, including in Seattle, using Google Maps and AI to use stoplight timing to improve flow. As Google’s climate AI lead put it, it can “... create waves of green lights, allowing cities to improve traffic flow and further reduce stop-and-go emissions.” Seattle is experimenting with three intersections, and drivers seem receptive. Fewer accelerations at red lights mean less emissions. At intersections, about half of emissions are from accelerating after a stop. Caltrans also wants to use AI to reduce traffic fatalities across California, helping workers focus on corridors with bad lighting conditions, traffic patterns and bad driving that create the greatest danger.