Tesla’s AI-powered traffic light device intrigues Elon

By Nuno Cristovao

Would Tesla consider creating its own AI-controlled traffic lights? There was an interesting exchange on Twitter about traffic lights that seemed to pique Elon Musk’s interest.

The conversation revolved around traffic lights and the time and energy spent waiting at red lights when there is no traffic.

The traffic light was invented just as the popularity of cars was beginning to take off in the early 1900s. The traffic light itself was first used in 1914 as vehicles became popular in the 1920s.

Although there have been many improvements to traffic lights, they have been relatively small given that it has been over a century since their introduction. We’ve seen improvements like adding a yellow light to warn drivers of an upcoming red light, using LEDs for better visibility, adding different light combinations, and even using of different light patterns depending on the time of day.

However, today we have the technology to make traffic lights as we know them a thing of the past.

While traffic lights might seem like an odd undertaking for Tesla, it actually fits their mission and capabilities quite well.

Tesla would use cameras to build an artificial intelligence system that predicts traffic patterns to reduce time spent and emissions produced at traffic lights.

“Maybe Tesla should make an AI vision device that plugs into those old traffic lights. It could just watch traffic and automatically maximize throughput.”

-Elon Musk

They could even reduce the number of accidents by determining the ideal time to wait before passing the opposite green light.

By using its core competencies to develop traffic lights, Tesla could further accelerate its mission of smoothing traffic and reducing vehicle emissions. This is a similar reason why they develop robots.

AI, we could virtually eliminate waiting at a red light when there is no traffic in sight. It would also significantly speed up most intersections. Time is our most valuable asset, but we spend hours a year stopped at red lights. Just watch and wait.

Well, apparently Elon Musk totally agrees with us. When a Twitter user complained that the time we collectively spend waiting at empty intersections was mind-boggling, Elon replied with a simple “100%”.

Elon then responded to another Twitter user expressing interest that maybe Tesla should get into the traffic light business. Elon talked about the possibility of developing an add-on device for traffic lights. The device would use AI vision to turn old traffic lights into AI powerhouses that maximize traffic throughput.

Here’s hoping this random tweet sparks more conversations at Tesla this morning. Making traffic lights smarter helps to ease traffic flow and fits perfectly with their skills and mission.

I think when Tesla takes a closer look at it, they’ll realize that they can do more than just maximize throughput and reduce waiting, but they’ll also be able to reduce crashes and frustrations that might come traffic management.

Tesla could eventually develop its own traffic light that would solve even more problems.

If Tesla developed a traffic light based on LED panels, it could even create dynamic traffic lights that automatically use traffic arrows only when needed, and automatically and continuously adjust traffic light types. signaling used depending on traffic conditions over time.

An always-on traffic light could also pave the way for city-controlled traffic signals that could prevent accidents during police chases or save lives by turning green lights for ambulances.

The possibilities are nearly endless and we may one day look back on those lonely times when we used to stare at a red light while waiting and hoping it was finally our turn.

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