The automotive industry is no longer self contained,’ said Edwards. ’As vehicles become more aware of what the traffic lights are doing and the traffic lights are already aware of what the vehicle’s doing, we don’t want the two systems to be second-guessing each other. You want the two things to work together. So we are actually working with some of the infrastructure suppliers now to work out what that strategy might be in future.’
Greater vehicle communication could even affect driver behaviour by guiding people away from potential traffic build-ups or encouraging them to drive in a more fuel-efficient manner. And improving the quality of real-time data could give people greater faith in smart infrastructure and autonomous systems, leading to a higher take-up of the technology. It’s incremental steps such as this that will bring robotic cars out of the test centres and onto the roads.