The light has been yellow for too long, and you're not making it through the intersection before it's red. But either you don't notice or you don't care. But even though your foot is on the gas, the car brakes.

Mercedes-Benz is experimenting with this very scenario at their R&D facility in Palo Alto.


Using a smart intersection, the light essentially communicates with the car. And if the driver still isn't responsive to, say, brake after several warnings of a red light, the car can stop itself. (Start the clip around 50 seconds in for the full demo.)

Mercedes-Benz admits that, though the technology is "almost there," we're still a decade out from its deployment. After all, every stoplight in America would need an upgrade to smart intersection status (for which there are no agreed standards). Plus, given that these intersections would cost money that would surely be lost through less tickets, it's hard to imagine where the money will come from.

So what do you think? Is this a handy safety feature or a limit on our human rights to break the law? [BBG]

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