The Mercedes Smart Stop system is a wireless safety system that stops cars automatically when the driver fails to heed a red light. The car uses V2X communciation to ‘talk’ to traffic lights to learn if the lights are red or green.
The technology isn’t headed to production vehicles in the immediate future. Having it work in the real world depends on the existence of smart intersections – which means cooperation from Congress, regional/local governments and the rest of the industry.
Apart from a few trial installations, it could be ten years or more before the technology is standardized and available nationwide. When implemented, it won’t just be about safety: cars that include the wireless transceivers can conduct a “conversation” with one other to share realtime local traffic data, as well as to warn the driver if he or she is accelerating into a stop light.