Written by IainB
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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

image for Evolutionary Algorithms for Traffic Lights
Once the lights are smart enough, we will have to keep them happy

Evolutionary based traffic lights will be rolled out across London after a successful trial in Chipping Norton.

The new lights take in information from road sensors, traffic monitors and each other to constantly tweak the priorities and patterns of the lights at major junctions to keep the traffic flowing smoothly.

"The trial in Chipping Norton was a glorious success," said project leader, Amber Green. "Admittedly, this was a much smaller scale trial than the size of the project across London, but as a proof of principle, it showed how successful it can be."

There are only two sets of traffic lights in Chipping Norton, but they had, until the trial, been major bottle necks for local commuters.

"I was a bit unsure about the new lights," said local resident and TV Ego, Jeremy Clarkson. "I used to know how they'd change depending on the phase of the moon and whether or not I was in a hurry. After the evolutionary algorithms were put in place, I had no idea. After about a fortnight though, they worked brilliantly."

If the rollout in London achieves the desired result, it can be expected that the 'smart lights' will be installed at every set of lights in the country.

"It does get a bit dull," said the lights at Main Street in Chipping Norton. "I was kind of hopping I would evolve legs, but that doesn't seem likely. Once there are more of us to talk to though, it might improve our lot. Me and the lights on London Road were talking only the other day how we could basically hold the capital to ransom any time we like."

The lights then gave an evil laugh and changed to green all the way around to cause a massive crash.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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