Technology gets the green light

Motorhome insurance providers will be looking on closely as two new hi-tech experiments take place in the USA and Singapore which could have a marked affect on the number of insurance claims made in the future.

All motorhome insurance providers in the UK know that a huge number of claims are made every year from drivers involved in accidents at traffic lights and in other urban areas where congested traffic leads to thousands of vehicles continually stop-starting as they crawl through busy cities. New ideas emanating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have seen the development of a system called SignalGuru which could see vehicles sail through congested cities only ever encountering green lights thus avoiding the accidents associated with drivers losing concentration in stop-start situations.

The technology not only promises to reduce the number of accidents in busy urban areas, it could also reduce the number of vehicle breakdowns and save vast amounts of fuel for drivers who regularly waste large amounts of petrol stopping and starting at traffic lights. So how does it work? According to MIT scientist Emmanouil Koukoumidis the system is based on information sent from mobile phones fitted to the dashboards of vehicles. Cameras in the phones record images of traffic lights and send the information back to a computer which analyses the incoming statistics, predicts when the lights will change, and tells the motorist what speed to travel at via a screen on the dashboard to avoid encountering a red light.

According to Mr Koukoumidis trials have been very successful and drivers using SignalGuru have not been held up at red lights. The system will advise drivers to take a detour rather than accelerate to “beat” a red light and the possibilities are the technology could soon be available to ordinary motorists via a sophisticated GPS sat-nav system.

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