The day you simply step into your car and it takes you where you want is not here just yet, but we are giving up control of small things to the vehicle's computer. Take, for example, BMW's Active Cruise Control, which takes control of the car's speed, or Lexus' Advanced Parking Guidance System, which parallel parks your car for you. The video above is a system imagined by Zurich where stop lights are replaced by systems that control the speed of the car. There is no need for a car to stop, only slow down or speed up to allow for the continuous flow of traffic from all directions.
For this system to work, you would need government laws to not only ban traffic lights but place some kind of navigation system in your car. There is already talk of putting GPS in all cars, so don't be surprised if you see this sooner rather than later. As any hypermiler will tell you, slowing down and stopping wastes a lot of gas, so, if a system like this were implemented, the gas savings would be enormous. Maybe we should try it now, without all that fancy technology?
As crazy as it sounds, the idea of banning stop lights and traffic signals, so called "naked streets," is catching on and some people even think it's safer for pedestrians. The idea behind naked streets is drivers will be more aware of pedestrians if there are no signs or signals and the CBC reports a 60 percent drop of pedestrian accidents. This system already exists in many places, as the video below the fold shows, due to a lack of money or just bad planning.
Perhaps someday our grandchildren will ask us "what are stop lights?" for a report in their history class.