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Found 5 results

  1. Traffic management APPlied logic Sep 13th 2011, 16:10 by The Economist online TRAFFIC lights are crucial tools for regulating traffic flow. They are not, however, perfect. Drivers exchange the gridlock that would happen at unmanaged junctions for a pattern of stop-go movement that can still be frustrating, and which burns more fuel than a smooth passage would. Creating such a smooth passage means adjusting a vehicle’s speed so that it always arrives at the lights when they are green. That is theoretically possible, but practically hard. Roadside signs wired to traffic lights can help get the message across a couple hundred metres from a junction, but such signs are expensive, and have not been widely deployed. Margaret Martonosi and Emmanouil Koukoumidis at Princeton University, and Li-Shiuan Peh at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, however, have an idea that could make the process cheaper and more effective. Instead of a hardwired network of signs, they propose to use mobile-phone apps. For a driver to benefit, he must load the team’s software, dubbed SignalGuru, into his phone and then mount it on a special bracket attached to the inside of his car’s windscreen, with the camera lens pointing forwards. SignalGuru is designed to detect traffic lights and track their status as red, amber or green. It broadcasts this information to other phones in the area that are fitted with the same software, and—if there are enough of them—the phones thus each know the status of most of the lights around town. Using this information, SignalGuru is able to calculate the traffic-light schedule for the region and suggest the speed at which a driver should travel in order to avoid running into red lights. Tests in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where five drivers were asked to follow the same route for three hours, and in Singapore, where eight drivers were asked to follow one of two routes for 30 minutes, revealed that SignalGuru was capable of predicting traffic-light activity with an accuracy of 98.2% and 96.3% respectively, in the two cities. This was particularly impressive because in Cambridge the lights shifted, roughly half-way through the test, from their off-peak schedule to their afternoon-traffic schedule, while in Singapore lights are adaptive, using detectors embedded under the road to determine how much traffic is around and thus when a signal should change. In neither case was SignalGuru fooled. Fuel consumption fell, too—by about 20%. SignalGuru thus reduces both frustration and fuel use, and makes commuting a slightly less horrible experience.
  2. Apologies if I post in English only. I would need some advice from an architect familiar with the building code applied in Montreal. Indeed I have a bedroom and a bathroom in my condo unit with two skylights and no windows. The skylight in the bedroom could be opened from the room in the past in order to allow some air ventilation. However as the skylight was leaking, it has been sealed from outside and now it cannot be opened anymore. Is there in the building code applied in Quebec a rule that requires a skylight that can be opened if installed in a room without windows? I would like to find a reference to some regulations, if exists, to point out to my condo administrator who was in charge for the reparation that it cannot be done in this way. Merci.
  3. Paul Russell: I'm from Montreal, not Montréal Tuesday's Post carried a small story about a federal policy that bans Canadians from listing "Jerusalem, Israel," as their birthplace on their passports, due to the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over the control of the city. This letter from a reader attempted to bring the issue to our shores. Never mind “Jerusalem, Israel,” just try getting “Montreal” listed as a place of birth in a Canadian passport. I was told by the pleasant passport clerk last time I applied that the city’s name is not spelled that way; "it’s Montréal.” I’m an English Canadian, I wanted to tell her — my identity is bound up with coming from Montreal, not Montréal. But I needed my passport, so I kept quiet. Oh well, que voulez-vous? Sheldon Goldfarb, Vancouver. ahhahahaah:rolleyes:
  4. Just follow the light: Traffic lines stay brighter going in one direction A recent study by North Carolina State University has shown that the stripes dividing our nation's roadways are brighter when they are applied in the same direction that traffic is flowing. In many cases, the twin center lines dividing opposing lanes are painted at the same time, making them more visible in one direction than the other. The issue seems to center around the glass beads that are mixed in with the paint. These reflective beads are most effective when properly oriented. Using a device called – we're not making this up – a retroreflect-o-meter, the team discovered that the difference in the reflective values of painted lines put down in the proper direction was great enough that they could sometimes last an entire year longer than if they were painted in the opposite direction. These findings indicate that the transportation authorities could save quite a bit of money if they go the extra step of ensuring the lines are applied in the correct direction. Additionally, safety would be improved since the lines would be more clearly visible at night. Other more costly alternatives include adhesive tapes with glass beads already embedded in the proper direction. Who knew? http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/03/traffic-marking.html