Smart cars, smart roads can save gas, traffic time

Smart cars, smart roads can save gas, traffic time

The technology in smart cars and roads has the potential to ease traffic and to substantially cut oil consumption and emissions, according to a new report by several transportation organizations.

–For example, wireless applications like vehicle platooning could produce fuel savings of more than 10 million barrels per year,” said Scott Belcher, president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. An automated highway system allows platoons of cars to drive with less distance between them and to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

The report offers some current examples of savings created by technology. Some are small scale: The Smithsonian cut the fuel consumption of its fleet of vehicles by 52 percent by using GPS tracking and wireless communication to better manage its vehicles.

On a larger scale, Los Angeles County used a synchronization program to better manage traffic signals to meet demand along its major arteries and saved drivers 31 million hours of travel time and 38 million gallons of gas.

In vehicle technologies, widespread use of cooperative-adaptive cruise control could produce savings of 110 million barrels of oil and 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 10 years.

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