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2014 News in Brief



Carolina Osorio improves traffic light timing to speed urban traffic

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Image of traffic lights by Jose-Luis Olivares MITDrivers frustrated by red lights at each intersection can take heart that Professor Carolina Osorio and graduate student Linsen Chong have developed a better way to compute optimal timing of city stoplights. Osorio is the lead author of a forthcoming paper in the journal Transportation Science that describes the new system, based on a study of traffic in Lausanne, Switzerland. The new optimization process uses high-resolution traffic simulators that provide detailed descriptions of how 12,000 simulated drivers respond to changes in travel conditions, rather than treating them as a simple homogeneous group. This method showed that better timing could reduce average travel time by 22 percent, compared with results from commercial traffic-light timing software. Read this MIT News story.