As more and more intelligent cars and autonomous vehicles hit the road, some engineers are thinking about what can be done to smarten up the streets on which they travel.
Doing so could allow smart cars and trucks to exchange information with other vehicles, traffic-management centers, and private companies about traffic congestion, accidents, and weather conditions. The key to making it happen is an Internet of Things system that includes sensors embedded in the roadway and on traffic lights.
Existing intelligent transportation systems provide some of those features. Information gathered by traffic-monitoring cameras, for example, is being used to adjust traffic signals in real time to ease congestion. Sensor-equipped parking lots can notify drivers of empty spots via their smartphone.