Chapter 7

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Here's a way to reduce consumption, pollution, the waste of human capital, and general anxiety all at once:

It's long past time that traffic lights became perceptive.
How many times have you sat in line while the green-lighted cross-street was vacant? There must be a million cars idling at red lights at this very moment, exhausting fumes and heating the environment (car engines and associated stuff get quite hot).

I know a little about machine vision. But, it doesn't even need to be that. Ray Charles could walk around fine without vision. Most city intersections have loops in the pavement to tell the light controller when cars are there. Why not just program the light controls to consider conditions when cars aren't there? The controls can collect traffic data. They can make judgments. They could get a sense for when to tilt the timings a little. The sciences of decision-making are quite sophisticated enough. A smart programmer or two could improve things quite a bit.