Traffic Feedback signs

On my way to work I had an idea on how to improve traffic flow. Traffic starts to pile up whenever there is a difference in speed between lanes that is not expected. In a perfect world the right lane is slower due to cars exiting or entering the freeway, or can’t for some reason achieve the speed limit. The further to the left you drive the faster you’re expected to travel. This issue is mostly due to drivers who are oblivious to how their actions affect the traffic flow. These are the same types of people who look left and turn right while they walk through a crowd. The same type of people who drive in the blind spot of another car for miles, or leave their turn signals on.

On I25 there are giant signs that are basically LED displays that show traffic status or warnings. They usually have useful messages like “Reduce speed, slippery ahead” when it’s actively snowing.


I believe that we have the technology for a computer to visually identify traffic patterns. I also believe that we have computers that can optically identify individual cars and license plates. This is currently used on toll roads and red light cameras. How about programing these to identify the cars that are interfering with traffic patterns? Not to issue tickets, but to inform the drivers that they are guilty of slowing traffic and giving them advice on how to improve the flow of traffic for everyone.

I imagine a system that would time the display to inform individual drivers as they approach. Picture a blue Toyota driving in the center lane of a three lane freeway doing 60mph in a 75mph zone. The sign would wait until the car is about a half mile away and start flashing “Blue Toyota license number SLOASS please move to the right lane”

Some people may see this as a violation of privacy. This is understandable, but kind of ignorant. Human beings would not be involved. This system would be completely automated. It isn’t looking to automatically issue tickets, just provide feedback. However, I feel it would be reasonable for the system to notice real assholes and drunks and send a message to the cops. It could also warn other drivers that a drunken asshole is approaching from the rear or is driving recklessly ahead. “Caution: Black Ford F150 driving like a jerk one mile ahead.”


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