August 20, 2014 1:25 PM, EDT
Va. Tech Working to Display Traffic Signs Inside Vehicle
Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is conducting a study to display stop and yield signs on a vehicle’s dashboard screen, allowing a driver to pass through an intersection if no other cars are present.

Still in the early stages, the system would tie into a network where connected vehicles will be able to communicate with each other as well as surrounding infrastructure, helping to lower congestion and prevent crashes, according to the institute.

“This is part of our initial efforts to integrate more revolutionary safety concepts with the growing field of connected-vehicle technology,” Thomas Dingus, the institute’s director, said in a statement.

“While a relatively new area in the transportation realm, adaptive stop-yield signs have the potential to be a long-term solution for not only minimizing traffic problems experienced on increasingly congested roadways, they may also help mitigate negative environmental impacts,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation-funded study filmed test subjects as they drove a car equipped with a screen that would alert them to stop or yield at an intersection.

“This study will be useful in developing future connected-vehicle applications in a general sense and demonstrates that this is possible and how well it is received by naive drivers with minimal training on the subject,” said Alexandria Noble, the master’s student at the institute in charge of the study.

“This study was set up to take place in a future where all static traffic-control infrastructure, such as stop signs and yield signs, are no longer needed, and you have an adaptable in-vehicle display telling you when you need to stop and when a stop is unnecessary,” Noble said.