Platoon-based self-scheduling for real-time traffic signal control


We take a self-scheduling approach to solving the traffic signal control problem, where each intersection is controlled by a self-interested agent operating with a limited (fixed horizon) view of incoming traffic. Central to the approach is a representation that aggregates incoming vehicles into critical clusters, based on the non-uniformly distributed nature of road traffic flows. Starting from a recently developed signal timing strategy based on clearing anticipated queues, we propose extended real-time decision policies that also incorporate look-ahead of approaching vehicle platoons, and thus focus attention more on keeping vehicles moving than on simply clearing queues. We present simulation results that demonstrate the benefit of our approach over simple queue clearing, both in promoting the establishment of "green waves" where vehicles move through the road network without stopping and in improving overall traffic flows.

German cars will share real-time data to help you find parking


However smart your car might be, there's only so much it can tell you by itself. Wouldn't it be nice if cars regularly shared helpful driving info beyond what you offer in mobile apps? It's launching services that will have cars automatically sharing real-time data to improve commutes for everyone. Vehicles (starting with those from Here owners Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz) will use their sensors and cameras to offer details on free parking spaces, traffic conditions, and road hazards. You'd know that a parking spot has opened up, or that heavy rain is forcing drivers ahead to slow down.

Mylingo offers real-time Spanish translation in movie theaters


A new app called Mylingo lets Spanish-speaking moviegoers listen to audio dubs in real time, using their own smartphone and headphones. According to the developer, users can download the studio-recorded Spanish tracks directly to their device, where they'll be able to sync them perfectly with the action from the screen. The application, which is only available for iOS right now, uses the microphone on your phone to capture the data once the movie starts, and then deletes the audio file for good after it's over. Naturally, in order to be able to do that, Mylingo had to partner with major studios and movie theaters, such as Disney, Paramount, Sony, Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Theaters. As a result, the app will work with many of the films scheduled to debut this holiday season, including Moana, Office Christmas Party, Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

PowerPoint brings real-time collaboration to your slides


It's not much fun to plug away at a presentation, but Microsoft might have found a way to make the experience more bearable for Office 365 subscribers. It's updating the Windows version of PowerPoint with real-time collaboration that helps you share the workload. You can see who's editing specific slides, and see typing as it happens. You'll need to be part of the Office Insider program to use this right away, but don't be surprised if it's available more broadly in the near future. Microsoft's updates will also let you know what's going on when you're away from your desk.