The SENSEable City Lab in MIT gives out reasons why autonomous cars have no need for traffic lights in the future. Cars of the future would have sensors that would tell the others to stay away at a specific distance. This enables communication between cars and would ensure no collisions in intersections.
Photo credit: MIT Senseable City Lab
“An intersection is a difficult place, because you have two flows competing for the same piece of real estate,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and a co-author of the study.
“On the other hand, if a system has advanced technology and lacks traffic lights, it moves control from the [traffic] flow level to the vehicle level. Doing that, you can create a system that is much more efficient, because then you can make sure the vehicles get to the intersection exactly when they have a slot,” he adds
Video source: MIT Senseable City Lab