Traffic Light of the Future

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rdowns, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #1
    Aside of getting some fancy LED lights, the traffic light hasn't seen much change. Came across this and thought it was very cool.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Its cool but makes little sense.

    The red/yellow/green lights being used now work well enough.

    I mean are we in such a hurry to know to the second when the light will change? If you need to just glance over to the opposing light to see when the green light goes yellow and then you can time your red light accordingly.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    These fail a very basic design rule: they use colour as the only indicator so are not suitable for the colour blind. Current lights use position as well as colour so work perfectly. A perfect case of over-design destroying function.
     
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    I'm not sure I want drivers with a yellow between red and green. I see revving up and peel-outs in our future.
     
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #5
    This is a bad idea if only for the fact that if people are made aware of how long is left on the light, they will be more inclined to accelerate to make it, meaning people going through intersections faster.

    This is a safety hazard.

    Around here, they also use shapes. Square for red, circle/arrows for green, rhombus for yellow.
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
    That's how they already work in the UK: red->red+amber (not yellow)->green->amber->red. The red+amber gives you time to put the car in gear and release the handbrake (most people don't drive automatics over here).

    That's fine too. The problem with this proposed design is that if you are red-green colour blind the red and green ones look identical.
     
  7. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #7
    Hoorible idea.

    Good engineering is simple engineering.
     
  8. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #8
    WTF ? You guys don't know how to clutch without having the car go backwards or something ?

    I've driven stick for the last 14 years and unless the hill is very very steep and iced up, I don't need to use the handbrake at all.
     
  9. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #9
    So the get ready and prepare to stop are the same. Wouldn't that cause people to accidentally jump lights?
    I think it's down to one basic difference. In spacious Canada it's far less likely that the car behind you is going to shunt you forward.
     
  10. yourwiseguy macrumors regular

    yourwiseguy

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    #10
    It's interesting, to say the least, but I think it would cause a lot of people to speed up through yellows (because they will know that that have JUST enough time) and a lot of people will get tickets. I found out the hard way a few months ago that speeding up to catch the yellow, even if you are in the clear, is reckless driving. :(
     
  11. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #11
    why such a complicated system ? in austria 4 seconds before the green light switches to amber it starts blinking



    also i have seen in other countries that they use some sort of numeric countdown on trafficlights during the red and green phase
    by using brigther leds inside the light for example

    IMHO the better solution... after all every car driver should be able to read numbers
     
  12. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #12
    You've never been to Canada have you ? There's nothing spacious about the streets of Montreal or Toronto.
     
  13. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #13
    Am I missing something or is the icon to get ready to go the same as get ready to stop? That's all we neEd, someone to look up from their cell phone, just see that icon and not the one before it and floor it thinking it's the get ready to stop when it's really the get ready to go.
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #14
    Indeed, this would fail usability tests long before it was ever unleashed on an unwitting public. Just proof that one of the most important jobs of a designer, is product development, to protect people from ideas like this, whose creators never bother to ask "is this a good idea?"

    There's also the issue that LED lights do not generate significant amounts of heat, so in colder weather, it's not improbable that they may well blocked by snow, of course you can then add heating elements, but that increases complexity, production, running and maintenance costs.
     
  15. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #15
  16. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #16
    All the new traffic lights around here are LED with the usual fairings around them.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #17
    True (on both counts), but outside of the cities the entire UK is still crowded.

    We can hold a car on clutch point, but all drivers are taught to use the handbrake at lights, so that's the way most of us do it. I'm just trying to think of reasons why we're taught that and you guys aren't.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #18
    Yes, people are in a hurry. I recently read an article in my local paper about a problematic intersection. What's the problem? People spend on average 1 minute 37 seconds at the intersection; the city is trying to resolve this matter.

    1 m 37 s is hardly what I consider a punishment light. The light taking me from one road to another this weekend is my new punishment light. It is green long enough to get 3 cars though, with a recent weekend road closure more cars than ever had to make the left. It took 6 cycles of the light to get me through the light and that was with no less than 5 cars passing through it at a time, 2 illegally. So yes, people somehow need to know how long they'll be waiting at a light.

    For me, the wait is the wait, doesn't make it fun but it is the wait. Try being on a motorcycle (not a large cruiser) late at night trying to trip the light. That's a **** ton of fun. ;)
     
  19. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #19
    We can. Those of us who care about our cars don't. Sitting riding the clutch at biting point places significant extra wear on the friction material in the clutch. This is before we discuss the stop-start mechanisms fitted to a lot of new cars that only engages when the car is in neutral...
     
  20. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #20

    Why do people have to know how long they'll be waiting? What are they going to do with that information? I'd rather they fix the intersection to shorten the wait and not worry about the drivers knowing how long the wait is. I ran into the same problem at this intersection in San Diego on a vacation. It took about 7-8 light changes to get through it. And my cousin said that it wasn't because of rush hour or an accident; that's just how bad the intersection is designed. We also need to add a third lane on Route 17 in the area just south of Paramus. Its ridiculous how much traffic slows when that third lane disappears. Don't tell me we can't fix this. And get rid of all the traffic lights on 17 south of Route 46. Its a highway, for crying out loud, take out the lights, add some flyovers and keep the traffic moving from Route 3 nonstop to the NY thruway. And no more of this getting off of 17 and having to take a local street to get onto Route 80. Two highways that are right next to each other and you don't have exits from one to the other directly without having to slow down on side street? Crazy. I also hate the intersection of Washington and Pascack Road. Very long wait to make a freaking right because there is no room to get around the waiting traffic at the light. How about the town by the boarded up house on the corner and add a freaking turning lane...move the bus stop out of the way, too. Lets add an exit from the GSP a little north of 168, also, so not everybody in Pascack Valley is getting off of the same damn exit at rush hour. I could on but seriously, I don't even remember my original point...
     
  21. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #21
    Uh ? :confused: Don't sit at bitting point then. Just depress the clutch entirely and hold down the brakes... And if you really want to go neutral, again... handbrake ? The foot brake is fine.

    Seriously, do people in the UK use the handbrake like that all the time for nothing ?

    Why hold it on the friction point ? Just depress it completely and hold down the foot brake. The handbrake can be used to help when you have to let go of the foot brake to gas it on a steep hill, but that's really for the newbies who don't quite have the reflexes yet.

    You have some kind of messed up driving ed over there.
     
  22. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #22
    How many clutches do you get through a year?
     
  23. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #23
    It's not for nothing. It's to hold the car stationary when you are not going to go anywhere.

    Anyway, from observation, I would say that most people in the UK do not use their handbrakes as they have been tough to, rather they sit with their foot on the brakes for as long as it takes to get moving again. For most people this is not a problem. For people like me in very low sports cars where their brake lights are at my eye level it results in an annoying eye-searing in nose-to-tail traffic :(

    Anyway that still does not address the stop-start point. With a system like BMWs efficient dynamics if you sit with the clutch depressed then the engine will keep running. If you drop it into neutral and release the clutch the engine will stop. It will restart when you depress the clutch (so fast you won't be able to get into gear and be waiting for it). So driving the way you do will wast fuel.
     
  24. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #24
    Let's get this straight. You think teaching more safety conscious behaviour that reduces wear on the car's components is messed up?
     
  25. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #25
    The reason you are taught to use the hand brake when stationary is in case you are hit from behind.

    If you are holding on the foot brake and pressing down the clutch while in gear you are likely to release the pedals and shoot forwards if you take an impact from behind.
     

Share This Page