Using artificial intelligence to optimise signal lights, it has been possible for Alphabet Inc’s Google to bring down the rate of fuel consumption as well as traffic delays by 10 per cent to 20 per cent at four locations in Israel.
Announcing this, the company said that it now plans to take the technology to Rio de Janeiro next.
This project is still in its early stages and is one of the software based initiatives of Google to address issues of climate change.
The third most valuable company has been urged by some employees, as well as advocacy groups, to put to use its influence to combat the crisis of climate change on an urgent basis.
While prioritizing environmental features, Google has not heeded to calls by environmentalists to not to provide its technological support to oil companies or funding lawmakers who act against global warming.
Google plans to make it possible for Nest thermostat users to purchase renewable energy credits for $10 per month to offset emissions from heating and cooling in the coming weeks. Credits will be obtained from Texas projects such as Bethel Wind Farm and Roseland Solar. Google stated that the majority of the funds will be used for credit purchases and utility bill payments, but did not elaborate on the remainder.
Nest users in the United States will soon be able to automatically shift heating and cooling to times when energy is cheaper.
Along with search results, new informational panels display emissions or other environmental ratings for flights worldwide, as well as cars and home appliances in the United States.
To combat misinformation, beginning this month, English, Spanish, and French queries mentioning “climate change” will include explanations from the United Nations.
High hopes for the AI to better time traffic signal changes have been expressed by the municipal traffic authority in Rio de Janeiro based on early results in Israel’s Haifa and Beer-Sheva. The authorities want to implement the system within months.
Traffic flow could be made smooth by the use of AI as shown in simulations, according to Aleksandar Stevanovic, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
However, he questioned whether a tech firm lacking in traffic engineering expertise could ever bring such a system to fruition. But whether it would be possible for a company that does not have traffic engineering expertise to bring such software to practical usage eventually is a question that he raised.
“Every year there is someone new claiming we can do wonders,” he said.
(Adapted from USNews.com)