Could Red Traffic Lights Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory is an initiative by Ford and Jaguar Land Rover which could soon see us saying goodbye to the royal pain of being stuck at red traffic lights. Vehicle hire specialist, Northgate walks us through all the details.

What’s it all about


The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory will see the construction of a roadside unit which will be located alongside a set of traffic lights. Approaching vehicles which are connected to the system will then receive information about the timing of the corresponding traffic lights to advise the driver on the optimal speed they should drive in order to stand the best chance of only having to drive through green traffic lights.


However, if there is just no way of avoiding a red light, the driver will have to settle for a message from the system which tells them how long they’ll have to wait until the traffic light turns green again.


Christian Ress, the supervisor of Driver Assist Technologies at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, acknowledged: “There’s not much worse after a long day than to hit one red light after another on the drive home, and be forced to stop and start again at every junction.


“Enabling drivers to ‘ride the green wave’ also means a smoother, continuous journey that helps to improve the flow of traffic and provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.”


Tony Harper, the head of research at Jaguar Land Rover, is also excited by the project. He said: “Our aim is to give drivers exactly the right information at the right time and collaborations with other manufacturers are essential to help us deliver this commitment to our customers.”


The red traffic lights dilemma


Comparison website recently conducted some research which revealed that British motorists who drive daily can expect to spend up to a fifth of the time they’re in their motor vehicle waiting for red lights to turn green. That’s the equivalent to an average time of 48.66 hours annually, idling! It’s no wonder then that the introduction of the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory will be to the joy of many motorists.


Matt Lloyd, a spokesperson at, commented: “Red lights are a frustration for many drivers on the road but they are a necessity to keep traffic moving in a timely and orderly fashion.


“On some days, it can seem like the lights are against you and it can feel like the wait is longer than normal.”


However, Mr Lloyd was keen to add: “Rushing through a red light can cause problems for drivers and pedestrians alike. And getting caught can cause you problems with your insurance.”

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory Setup


The technology will be trialled by Ford as part of UK Autodrive as well as collaborating with Jaguar Land Rover.


UK Autodrive is a three-year trial of self-driving vehicles along with connected vehicle technologies. It is made up of a consortium of business leaders in the technology and automotive industries, so too a variety of academic institutions and local authorities.


Milton Keynes and Coventry will be hosting the trial of the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory, using both closed circuits and public roads over the next two years.