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This article was published on May 30, 2018

    This API can predict the state of traffic lights across a city

    Because everyone hates waiting for lights to change

    This API can predict the state of traffic lights across a city
    Matthew Hughes
    Story by

    Matthew Hughes

    Former TNW Reporter

    Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.

    Traffic lights are society’s equalizer. Rich or poor, you’ve got to wait for them to change. Waiting in a static line of diesel-spluttering SUVs on a warm summer day is just one of those universal experiences that everyone can relate to.

    But what if you could predict the state of traffic lights, and navigate accordingly, in order to minimize time spent waiting for a red light to change?

    That’s basically the idea behind Nexar’s new Lights API, which provides real-time information about the city-wide state of traffic lights.

    The goal is to make drivers more efficient, simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and pollution, while offering more accurate ETAs and routes. Nexar also thinks it’ll lessen the chance of drivers running red lights, which can be dangerous.

    “With Lights, we can predict the phase of every traffic light in a city, which will help our partners create solutions to reduce running red lights and increase safety on their roads,” said Nexar CEO Eran Shir in a statement.

    “Seeing and mapping roads in real-time will allow Nexar and our partners to gain a detailed understanding of the streets, and the city as a whole, at any given moment. This understanding will solve real problems for our partners and ultimately secure safer roads now and for the autonomous future.”

    Nexar envisions Lights API data being used by a variety of partners; from municipal authorities, to ridesharing companies, to developers of self-driving cars.

    It plans to offer it to selected partners later this year, before making it more widely available in Q1 2019.