Internet + Design + People = Anything

It seems like with every new day we are faced with newer problems and challenges. Problems of yesterday will always move into tomorrow until a systematic resolution is implemented. Thousands of organizations and movements are born to resolve these issues. While it may seem daunting to tackle them straight on, it can be done.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana

This proverb has more truth the more you discover, experience, and learn. You wouldn’t walk into a store purchase a single item, return home, and repeat until your shopping list is done. It’s repetition and it’s inefficient. You would purchase everything then go home, it’s efficient. That’s the real key to solving problems no matter how small or big. How efficient you are with solving a problem could mean resolving the same problem for different locations or throwing valuable resources into a cycle.

Let’s take something we can all agree upon.

Traffic is horrible. No one wins.

Los Angeles topped the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities for the sixth straight year, with drivers spending 102 hours in congestion in 2017 during peak time periods, followed by Moscow and New York (tied at 91 hours), Sao Paulo (86 hours) and San Francisco (79 hours) — INRIX

You could have the fastest car in the world or the most fuel efficient. If the cars around you aren’t moving, then you won’t be moving. Roads, freeways (including “carpool” lanes), and various routes get jam-packed. The existing infrastructure is out of date and needs a newer system. One that can expand with an ever-growing population.

So, what is involved in traffic:

  • Vehicles (C)
  • Pedestrians (C)
  • Traffic Lights/Signs (C)
  • Intersections (P)
  • Entry/Exit Routes (P)
  • Limited Occupiable Space (P)

Communication and Paths are what should be highly focused on.

“Deterrents” for bad behavior:

  • Tickets (economic disadvantage and fees when paying)
  • Points
  • Laws

Results of poor infrastructure design:

  • Deaths
  • Stress
  • Time Wasted
  • Congestion
  • Collisions
  • Emissions
  • Anger
  • Confusion

Do you see it now?

Fine, it’s a big jump.

  • Clue 1: Communication.
  • Clue 2: Traffic Lights/Signs.
  • Clue 3: Human Behavior.

When rush hour hits the main thing that gets overloaded are intersections. Imagine driving while no cars are on the road. What do you face at intersections? Traffic lights/signs that were timed to handle traffic in intervals. Traffic lights don’t carry the dynamic ability to extend/shorten the time unless manually operated. Traffic lights don’t give extra time to cross for those who need it the most.

Adding more lanes increases traffic for the simple reason that the bottlenecks will remain the same. The other reason is connecting streets can handle a limited number of cars per hour. Fill all streets with cars and now you might have to skip a light because traffic is gridlocked.

Often collisions occur because we can’t see the traffic around us. We are limited in vision and communication from other drivers. Exiting a driveway during rush hour can be tough. When you change direction, you increase the chances of collisions.

Most use navigation applications, which is great for travel. These apps are limited in what they can accomplish. Accuracy has never been the greatest as signals for GPS are always changing and recalculated. If we consider poor visibility, communication, bottlenecks, and traffic lights/signs. You already notice that navigations apps are limited.

We need a solution that solves these problems. Now, since I am tech-driven I’ll say that an application or device that allows communication, visibility, dynamic output, and real-time traffic re-routing will be a greater experience for all. We won’t get into details, as this will be provided in a video demo. Instead, we’ll take notes on how the airline industry handles the traffic from routes to runways. While there is more space in the clouds there is little room for mistakes. Hence why it’s safer to fly than to drive. Air Traffic Control (ATC) is how everything is kept up to date and in check.

An ATC, but for vehicles and pedestrians would truly send traffic congestion to a decline. Ground Traffic Control that can be implemented by an app, standalone device, and connect to traffic lights. While we don’t have most technologies available and ready to go we do have various resources to kick things off.

Traffic officers assist in traffic guidance but their lack of information of real-time traffic doesn’t yield great results. The information missing is real-time traffic view of cars on the road within connecting streets. Allow them to guide traffic by redirecting via an application and we can guide traffic that would be out of reach.

Navigation apps connect drivers to routes and offer traffic information, but an algorithm can only do so much. Having actual data input from both drivers and traffic officers could improve everyone’s route.

Vehicles and pedestrians believe it or not can be resources we can utilize. Just like radar can detect and display information. If we equip all with identifiers, then it would be easier for communication and visibility. Whether a vehicle or jogger crosses and intersection we can notify them both.

Light poles provide lighting further down the road. If we can equip them with sensors, then we can get real-time data of cars on the road.

Autonomous technology can help everyone transition from old age technology to a world with no traffic congestion. If we don’t implement the transition it would be much tougher for all, including driverless cars. It’s not that the humans fail to understand the principles of traffic but more likely that we don’t see the ripple effects our actions have.

Trying to communicate the solution by words in just a page would mean keeping things short. The demo will be using case scenarios of both actual events and predicted.

This idea is meant to be shared with everyone. My focus is on LA and tomorrow the world’s traffic congestion.

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