Keynote Speaker – Prof. Ozan Tonguz

Virtual Traffic Lights: A Disruptive Technology for Mitigating Traffic Congestion


Prof. Ozan Tonguz
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Ozan K. Tonguz is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

Prior to joining academia, he was with Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) doing research in optical networks and communication systems. His current research interests include vehicular networks, sensor networks, computer networks, wireless networks and communications systems, ad hoc wireless networks, self-organizing networks, smart grid, Internet of Things, optical communications and networks, bioinformatics, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and security. He has published about 300 technical papers in IEEE journals and conference proceedings. He is an inventor on 15 patents (12 US patents and 3 international patents). He is well-known for his contributions to vehicular networks, wireless communications and networks, and optical communications and networks. He is the author (with G. Ferrari) of the 2006 Wiley book entitled “Ad Hoc Wireless Networks: A Communication-Theoretic Perspective”. He is the founder and President of Virtual Traffic Lights (VTL), LLC, a CMU start-up that was launched in December 2010 for providing solutions to several key transportation problems related to safety and traffic information systems, using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless communications paradigms. His work and inventions on VTL has been featured in more than 100 countries in different continents by CNN, New Scientist, Discovery Channel, GizMag, CBS, AUDI Technology Magazine, The Atlantic, Metro World News, Eyewitness News in Johannesburg, South Africa, many radio and TV channels, and Internet media. His industrial experience includes periods with Bell Communications Research, CTI Inc., Harris RF Communications, Aria Wireless Systems, Clearwire Technologies, Nokia Networks, Nokia Research Center, Neuro Kinetics, Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), General Motors (GM), Texas Instruments, and Intel. He currently serves or has served as a consultant or expert for several companies (such as Aria Wireless Systems, Harris RF Communications, Clearwire Technologies, Nokia Networks, Alcatel, Lucent Technologies), major law firms (Jones Day, Williams and Connolly, WilmerHale, Heller Ehrman, Baker Botts, Carlson and Caspers, Soroker-Agmon, Dinsmore&Shohl, etc.), and government agencies (such as NSF, DARPA, DoT) in the USA, Europe, and Asia in the broad area of telecommunications and networking. He also served as the Co-Director (Thrust Leader) of the Center for Wireless and Broadband Networking Research at Carnegie Mellon University. More details about his research interests, research group, projects, and publications can be found at

Prof. Tonguz has served as an Associate Editor or Guest Editor for several IEEE Journals and Transactions (such as IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS, IEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS, IEEE/OSA JOURNAL OF LIGHTWAVE TECHNOLOGY, IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE) and as a member of Technical Program Committees of several IEEE Conferences and Symposia (such as INFOCOM, SECON, GLOBECOM, ICC, VTC, WCNC, etc.).


Traffic congestion in major cities is a chronic problem which is getting worse as the pace of urbanization keeps increasing. It is clear that using the existing approaches for traffic control in urban areas is not effective. In this talk, it will be shown that using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless communications for controlling the traffic at intersections can increase traffic flows and reduce the commute time of urban workers significantly. This new technology was invented in 2010 and is known as Virtual Traffic Lights (VTL). Subsequently, Virtual Traffic Lights, LLC, was founded in December 2010 by Prof. Ozan K. Tonguz of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) as a CMU spinoff for solving some of the acute transportation problems in urban areas by using V2V and V2I wireless communications paradigms based on the emerging Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology at 5.9 GHz in addition to other wireless and cellular technologies. The proprietary VTL technology (U.S. Patent issued in March 2015) is proven to increase the traffic flows in urban areas by up to 60% during rush hours which seems pretty significant and revolutionary. Such an improvement has serious implications in terms of reducing the commute time of urban workers, mitigating congestion, lessening the carbon footprint of cars, increasing productivity, and supporting a greener environment. In addition, the VTL technology will be an indispensable building block for the ongoing R&D efforts on autonomous driving pursued by Google, Uber, and several car manufacturers.