A concept that sounds too dangerous to be true, as cities become ‘smarter’ and our infrastructure becomes more heavily entwined with emerging digital technologies, efforts to make our cities safer certainly come in strange packages.
Hack The Lights?
So does a person have to be a computer whiz to hack a traffic light? Not at all. A Dutch company called Dynniq is leading the charge in developing smart cities, by working with the city of Tilburg’s council to create an intelligent traffic system, part of which is an app to help pedestrians give themselves more time when crossing at traffic lights. The pillow program has targeted elderly pedestrians, but the widespread use of this app could help teachers usher a large group of schoolchildren across a busy crossing, or give ambulances a clearer run in an emergency.
More Control For Pedestrians
It’s not as scary as it sounds. Pedestrians don’t have the control to simply change a traffic light on a whim that would cause more chaos than prevent danger. They can use the app to prolong crossing time, giving vulnerable pedestrians more access to our cities.
The pilot program has had its problems, one of the main ones being that the elderly target group needed to be taught individually how to use the app in order for it to be successful. The program though has reported successes, to the point that we may see this system replicated all over the world. As a concept, it does place control in the hands of pedestrians and cyclists, but for it to truly succeed, the attitudes of drivers would have to adjust in order to avoid conflict. Legislation would also need to be in place to stop abuse of the system.
The future of road safety is exciting, but there are still over 100,000 accidents in the UK each year on the roads and there is a way to go in reducing those numbers. If you have been involved in a car accident an experienced road accident team could help you claim compensation.