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IBM announced their traffic reduction technology today, and has been testing it in Lyon, France.

The one thing that can bring just about anybody together is a mutual hatred of traffic. I imagine people rank their disgust of traffic right up there with their disgust of disease and poverty. IBM recognized this and has been hard at work trying to end traffic. Researchers from the computing company partnered with the government in Lyon, France to test out software that assists traffic operators to better manage road congestion and improve traffic flow.

The key to the success the city and IBM had was real-time traffic data that could look at what was happening on the road, predict likely traffic scenarios that would follow, and figure out how to keep everyone moving forward instead of idling. The system is called the “Decision Support System Optimizer,” and DSSO for short. Not only does the program perceive an increase of cars on the road, but it can also see accidents, foresee the impact on traffic because of the accident, and then present the best way to prevent increasing traffic.

Lyon’s mayor, Gerard Collomb, wrote a statement saying, “Piloting this analytics technology will help the city anticipate and avoid many traffic jams before they happen, and lessen their impact on citizens. Using the data that we are collecting to make more informed decisions will help us to promote about how to resolve unexpected traffic events, and optimize public transportation.”

The goal is to create a learning system in the future, that can help apply more and more useful strategies based on past successful traffic solutions. IBM’s ultimate goal is undoubtedly to spread this technology past Lyon’s borders to other cities that have notoriously bad traffic.

To read more about our future robot overlords, check out the latest and greatest about supercomputers around the globe in this blog post.