Paul Wolfram


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Dear saadithya,

Thank you for your proposal and welcome to the ClimateColab! Yes, a lot of gas seems to be wasted when cars are stopping at red lights.

Did you know that there is already a technology out there called start/stop? This is already largely deployed in passenger cars nowadays and therefore costs are very low.

Also, you propose that your technology would turn off the engine after 10 seconds. Isn't that a bit long? I think there could be much more CO2 saved if the engine would be turned off after just 1 or 2 seconds as is done with current start/stop technology.

Thank you, Paul

Parag Gupta


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Hello!  I'm Parag Gupta, an MIT Climate CoLab Catalyst.  Other than the comments by Paul above, consider that this technology would realistically only be offered on new vehicles and then only as an option coming from the factory.  If a user has to pay any substantial amount of money to implement, I would not think that the vast majority of end consumers would look to this product.  Also, only automatic transmission automobiles would benefit, as you have noted in your proposal.  As well, 10 seconds is indeed too long before the engine is off.  What about predictive on/off design as one approaches an intersection?  As well, have you looked into fuel consumption in the on/off cycle?  Finally, is this proposal economically feasible given the competition and the current trend in vehicle technologies today?

Aadhithya Sujith


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Thanks for your feedback. I have edited the proposal for the time to 5 seconds. The system checks for red light along with the location of traffic signal in that place so that it ensures that the vehicle is not stopped anywhere else detecting some other false red lights. Also the light should be above a certain height. This is essential because to differentiate traffic signals from back red lights of vehicles.

I have recently come across start stop technology but going by user feedback people are frustrated and irritated by it since it is unrealiable and switches off engine at exactly the wrong place sometimes. Since my idea uses combination of other indicators along with standard ones, it should be more reliable.

Negah Nafisi

Impact Assessment Fellow

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Hi Saaditya,

The link below shows assumptions for the impact assessment! Let me know if you have any questions.



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