Up Next: Red Traffic Lights That Stop Your Car Engine?

 The application mentions a lot of scenarios for controlling engines.
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IBM has a new idea to bring "traffic control" to new heights, and to give local governments direct operational control over the engines of private automobiles.

In a patent application last week, the one-time computer giant lays out a plan for "managing engines in response to a traffic signal."

The application mentions a lot of scenarios for controlling engines: stopping them in response to a "stop" signal; starting up vehicles according to their order in line; and several minor variations on the theme.

The vehicles would have to be constructed in a way that would accept instructions from the traffic signals.

The patent application, from three IBM employees in India and one in Tampa, Fla., cites fuel savings as one purpose of the technology.

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