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Have you ever thought about how much time you would save if traffic signals were able to adapt to their environment? Well thats what BMW’s traffic engineers are pushing for.. How about traffic signals that ‘know’ when there’s a large sports event or heavy traffic congestion certain times of the day- and are able to change the duration and features of specific intersections to maximize the flow of vehicles? Is it possible that information such as weather, time of day, ability to detect overall flow, and special events could be input into these systems to save 10-15% overall fuel consumption in a dense urban area? BMW’s diesel-powered 5 series likes the idea, and so do it’s engineers..


Simply by changing the timing of traffic lights on a test stretch of roadway in Munich, engineers from BMW’s Traffic Technology and Traffic Management group were able to nearly double the fuel efficiency of a BMW 530d test vehicle—from 22 mpg to 42 mpg.

That being an idealized situation, the company expects an overall 10 to 15 percent decrease in urban fuel consumption due to smart traffic signaling. Considering that motor vehicles use about 175 million gallons of fuel annually, and urban areas make up a significant chunk of miles traveled, that’s a tremendous potential improvement.

“Think about the money that’s being spent to save one, two percent…and with a relatively small investment you could save much more,” he says. “There is no witchcraft, there is only a bit of engineering,”

More smart and money-saving ideas can be found on our Prostar Insurance site.


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