Features
20 Aug 15

Cars set to recognize traffic lights

In the car sector, technology is changing at lightning speed. In the race to the car of the future all the large auto companies are doing their best to improvetheir technology as quickly as possible, a process that costs lots of money. A major new step was taken when HERE, the map unit of Nokia, was acquired by the German car companies BMW, Audi and Daimler. These 3 companies agreed to pay 2.8 billion dollars for HERE, an amount that seems unbelievable to outsiders. But the Germans know very well what they are doing. With this purchase, BMW, Audi and Daimler will avoid becoming too dependent on the technology of companies like Apple and Google. HERE can be become one important factor in the self-driving car, so the importance of the transaction should not be underestimated.

BMW prefers not to wait

According to analysts well-known to the automotive sector, the acquisition of HERE was an urgent necessity for the German car makers. Without this knowledge they would have been forced to develop their own technology and that would be at a far greater cost. BMW, Audi and Daimler eventually want to prevent all future technology in the automotive sector being concentrated in Silicon Valley. But BMW prefers not to wait and is taking the next step in becoming one of the pioneers of self-propelled vehicles.

Recognizing the colours of the traffic lights

Many drivers are frustrated when they are forced to stop on a busy day for one traffic light after another. BMW has devoloped, in cooperation with a company based in the state of Oregon, a technology which can partly help solve this problem. That technology tells drivers if an upcoming traffic light will be green or red, so they can adjust their speed. The EnLighten app, the name given to the device by Connected Signals, recognizes the networks that a city uses to operate its traffic lights. The use of this unit could save a driver lot of time. In addition, it may be considered as a next step towards the fully self-driving car.

Authored by: Tim Harrup