I want to tell you that I never use my smartphone while driving or walking down the street, but that would be a bold-faced lie.
For most, including myself, it’s inevitable. With the way of the world today, we’re constantly glued to our smartphones. For me, I’m either answering work emails or talking strategy on the phone with a disheartened softball parent (but, that’s a story for another day…).
When you’re driving down the highway on your smartphone, you’re putting yourself and other drivers at risk. When you’re driving or walking through a busy city on your phone, it can be even worse.
As a driver or pedestrian, you’re often dodging (other) pedestrians, street lights, unruly drivers, just to mention a few. Hence why on April 20, 2016, Augsburg, Germany began giving in-road pedestrian lights a try.
The LED light strips are integrated into the surface of the road, right off of the curb. They are visible strips, even from a distance, that have been embedded at crosswalks near two tram stops.
When a tram is approaching the station, the light strips flash red so pedestrians (on their smartphones) pay attention to the road, and steer clear of the track. The light strips are powered using the existing pedestrian light poles, and receive signals from the poles about when to flash, both of which are done wirelessly.
Stadtwerke Augsburg, the company which provides the city with its energy, water, and traffic services, is administering the trial. They believe that the proliferation of smartphones has resulted in a greater degree of safety issues caused by smartphone-distracted pedestrians on a global scale. A statement that I very much agree with.
The technology is aimed to determine whether or not installing LED strips into roadways could improve pedestrian (and potentially even driver) safety. As of now there is no set end date. Stadtwerke Augsburg plans to monitor the new LED additions until they feel as though enough data has been obtained. Once the data is recorded and analyzed, the company will decide if implementing this new technology is sensible.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)