Like other automakers, Ford
has been doing considerable research into so-called "Smart Intersections." Smart intersections fall into the realm of vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, AKA telematics
. While this is generally considered safety related, both vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications can also play a major role in reducing fuel consumption and pollution. One of the major causes of excess emissions and fuel use is vehicles stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, often caused by accidents or by drivers in urban areas blocking intersections because they tried to get across and ran out of time. Ford, along with a number of other automakers and government agencies, is working to develop common standards and architecture for these active traffic safety systems. One of the first privately-funded smart intersections that sends signals to cars when a light is about change has been installed near Ford's Dearborn development center. If signals can be sent to vehicles giving advanced warning of light changes or stop signs, drivers could potentially avoid trying to run yellows or doing excessively hard braking and acceleration. The Texas Transportation Institute's "2007 Urban Mobility Report" estimated that three billion gallons of gas are wasted every year due to congestion and this could technology could help reduce that significantly.