Would Hourglass Traffic Lights Work Better?

Sand Glass Traffic Lights

Is it time we re-think the traffic light? Traffic control signals date back to the 1860s and have evolved very little since computers took over American traffic lights in the 1950s (at least the universal signalling). If you’re new to the whole driving thing, traditional signals include a red light for STOP, a yellow light for YIELD, a green light for GO.

A company called Sand Glass has developed a new hourglass traffic light system using LED lights. The irony is that this innovative digital hourglass represents a historical time piece that has been used for centuries. With the hourglass traffic light, drivers will stop their cars at a red hourglass and wait for the digitized “sand” to empty and the hourglass to flip to green. Between a green and red hourglass will be a yellow countdown hourglass depicting the sand along with a 3-2-1 countdown number to better inform drivers of the time they have before the light turns red. The Sand Glass traffic light gives drivers more information as to how long they will have to wait or if they have time to pass through the intersection.

Critics of the hourglass traffic light system say that it would confuse drivers as it may be too complicated. Supporters say it’s a fresh look at a dated system and offers more communication between driver and the traffic signals. What do you think?

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