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NHS ambulances trialling traffic light manipulating system in Newcastle

As anyone who follows the tech world is aware, our roads are set to become the domain of self-driving cars and other incredible seeming advances (in perhaps a decade or so – for mainstream acceptance, that is), but there are smaller advances coming – such as a tweak to traffic lights the NHS is testing out.

Of course, ambulances need to get to incidents fast – seconds can potentially be the difference between life and death in some cases – and traffic light snarl-ups can be an issue.

Which is why the Telegraph reports that the NHS is trialling a new gadget which detects traffic lights at a distance of a hundred metres, and then sends off a request to have them switched to green for when the vehicle reaches them.

The North East Ambulance service is currently using the device, and it’s being tested in the centre of Newcastle – but in the coming years it could also be used with transport lorries and taxis, to ease city centre congestion and lessen pollution (the system can also tell drivers what speed to drive at in order to hit green lights as they pass through town). In addition to 12 ambulances, two electric cars are also being tested with the devices in Newcastle.

Compass4D, the producer of the system, stated: “Newcastle will concentrate on the implementation of Energy Efficient junctions and utilise 2 electric cars from Newcastle University and routine patient transport and administration vehicles from the North East Ambulance Service.”

Image Credit: Mike Urwin via Telegraph