If you’re a regular car driver, you know that cringe-inducing moment when you’re at a traffic light and hear ambulance sirens. Which direction is it coming from? Is everyone paying attention? Followed by the sigh of relief once the emergency vehicles have passed safely. However, there’s a good reason to worry. Ambulances are three times more likely to be in a car accident. Even worse, 80% of those accident occur after picking up the patient.
Designed with this in mind, the Emergency Traffic System seamlessly marries traffic authority with emergency services. The location and route of each ambulance or firetruck is tracked via GPS in real time so that traffic lights can be coordinated to provide the safest and most direct path to and from the scene. Furthermore, a message and visual indicator on the traffic signal lets everyday drivers know that an emergency vehicle is approaching so they can maintain heightened awareness before proceeding with caution.
Designers: Taekkyung Lee & JunYoung IM
Designed for everything from overpasses and bridges to pedestrian crossings and traffic lights, this innovative warning sign aims to prevent dangerous accidental crossings by vehicles that exceed height limitations. Equipped with an array of all-weather sensors, the system is able to detect the height of oncoming trucks and cars. In the event a vehicle is too high to pass, the light will give the driver a visual warning so they can make route adjustments. Not only useful for size issues, the system can also be used to indicate road conditions or closures.
Designer: Ming-sheng Shih
If you have ever wondered what is inside of a traffic light and just how the system works, you are going to enjoy father and son team Dan and Lincoln Markham’s latest episode of What’s Inside.
This time out, they got their hands on an actual stop light and then cut it open to find out what is inside. We also get to learn a bit about the computer system that runs the stop lights. It is actually really interesting. The lights themselves are not complicated, but the system that runs them all sure is. These days, traffic lights don’t just run on timers, but actually detect traffic and adjust their timing accordingly.
On a side note, how many people can convince their city to let them do this?
[via Laughing Squid]
The only thing worse than a red light is not knowing when it’s going to change. In fact, some are so long they’ll leave you wondering if it’s going to change at all! The FIK Light aims to alleviate this everyday stress by introducing an simplistic timer into the light itself. Its minimalistic design language is so easy anyone can read it.
The “ring and strips” visual system also allows the countdown of the timer to be customized. The display works as follows: the green “strips ring” (20 to 60 seconds) gradually disappears from the bottom all the way up to the amber “strips ring” (3 seconds) and eventually to the red “strips ring” (20 to 60 seconds) display. Depending on the traffic intersection, FIK’s individual lighting can be flexibly programmed. The result is a custom countdown that creates calm on the roadway! After all, a relaxed driver is a good driver!
Designer: Edmund Liew
The Lite-On Awards are dedicated towards curating and rewarding design concepts that showcase an innate ability to solve a problem through lateral thinking. The Notification Traffic Light is one such design concept to be awarded Lite-On’s Merit Award. The concept avoids the eventuality of an Ambulance getting into a vehicular accident at busy signals and crossroads by installing a special type of attachment to regular traffic lights. When synced with a beacon inside an ambulance, the notification light flashes a red cross on the road to alert all oncoming traffic to stop and make a clear passage for the approaching ambulance.
While it seems like a difficult ordeal to have a visible projection on tarmac in broad daylight, the idea certainly provides a solution to a problem that causes unfortunate loss of lives. The solution just like any design solution can always be perfected with time. One must get the ball rolling in the first place, don’t you think?
The Notification Traffic Light is a winning entry for the Lite-On Awards 2015. Entries for this year’s LiteOn awards are open till the 16th of June, 2016. Head down to the LiteOn website for further details. Hurry, you have just a week!
Designers: Chen-jun Yi & Liang-siou Ming.
Back in January at CES 2014, Audi announced its cool new traffic light recognition system. We already know most of the details of the system with its ability to interface with the traffic lights via Wi-Fi. The point of the system is to tell the driver when the light will turn green.
Audi is able to get the traffic light system data via the wireless connection to be able to give the driver a countdown until the light turns green, as well as what speed you’ll need to maintain to make the next light. While those are definitely convenient features, Audi says that the tech could save lots of fuel and reduce emissions as well.
The Audi traffic light information system would be integrated with the engine start/stop tech in the car. The allows the engine to remain turned off until five seconds before the light turns green. As soon as it knows the light is about to change, the engine will re-engage. There are currently start/stop systems which just shut off when you’re stopped, but there’s a fraction of a second lag when accelerating from that standstill.
Audi estimates that if the technology were deployed across Germany, it could save 238 million gallons of fuel and reduce emissions by 15% (though they don’t say over what period of time that savings would take place).
Now if the system could keep morons from sitting there checking Facebook when the light is green, it will be world changing.
Some walk lights have buttons you can press to let the system know that there are pedestrians waiting to cross, while some others have a Pong game unit instead.
Too bad you can only find the latter in Germany.
Apparently someone thought that pedestrians needed some entertainment while they wait for the lights to turn red. That entertainment came in the form of Street Pong. These basically allow pedestrians on opposite sides of the street to play pong while the cars go zooming past.
The cool thing is that there’s actually a timer which counts down just how much playing time you have left before it’s time to cross the street.
Awesome stuff. Now if we can only get these everywhere.