If you have been driving in the same general area for a few years, chances are you have been able to pretty much memorize the timing of the stoplights. However, when you leave familiar territory you are often left guessing how long you will be waiting until you get the green. A new kind of stoplight may be able to give your foot a break by showing you how much time is left before the change.
A designer by the name of Damjan Stankovic is the mastermind behind the recently introduced piece of intersection hardware which, according to some, could lead to a decrease in fuel consumption. This belief comes from the fact that if you know when the lights are going to change, a driver can adjust the speed of their vehicle slightly to conserve momentum and therefore use less fuel.
The design itself is nearly identical to a traditional stoplight, with one small exception. On the outside edge of the red light, there are smaller sections that can be illuminated individually. Each one of these would represent a small unit of time, depending on the duration of the red light. It would then count down, with the smaller sections disappearing gradually until it turned green.
The only foreseeable problem with this would be people who try to time the change from red to green and then accelerate quickly from a standstill. While this would offer them a much easier way to accomplish their goal, it could also trick them into moving into the intersection before it is clear. The results of such a thing occurring, even at a smaller intersection, could quickly turn fatal.
This isn't to say the idea is a bad one. In reality, there have been many concepts that hinge on the same underlying principal of reducing the amount of time we wait at intersections and burn through fuel. Whether or not we will ever see this put into use is anyone's guess, but if they are it will definitely take some getting used to. Import 2 Race