This app tells you when traffic lights are about to change

By Shawn Knight ยท 16 replies
Aug 17, 2015
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  1. Advancements in modern technology have allowed us to build automobiles that are not only safer but more fuel efficient and cleaner for the environment. The majority of advancements, however, have focused on vehicles themselves when there’s still plenty that can be done to improve the actual roadways we travel on each day.

    As Digital Trends explains, modern stoplights are coordinated by a Traffic Management Center (TMC) controlled by city hall. At any given time, the TMC knows which lights are red, which are green and which are about to change.

    All Matt Ginsberg of Connected Signals did was take this data and put it to work.

    His app, EnLighten, gathers data from the local TMC, looks at your current location and direction of travel and gives an estimate of when the next light is coming and what color it’ll be. The app also lets users know how long it’ll be before a red light changes.

    If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking that this sounds like a noble effort but do we really need yet another distraction behind the wheel?

    Fortunately, EnLighten offers at-a-glance indicators and audio tones to help you navigate the roadways. For example, if you’re sitting at a red light, the app will chime just before the light turns green so you aren’t the ***** that other people honk at for not paying attention.

    One of the biggest hurdles the team faced was getting traffic light data from local cities. Ginsberg said nobody wanted to be first but they also don’t want to be last.

    As of writing, the company gathers data from 100 cities and town. The EnLighten app is available right now for Android and iOS should you want to give it a try. The iOS version is also being integrated into the infotainment systems of BMW vehicles, we’re told.

    Permalink to story.

  2. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    I wonder if people using this will be more or less likely to speed through an intersection? Or will they watch the app and not the road assuming the app is correct (which it might not be) and run red lights?
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,662   +1,948

    Sometimes this is just not good enough...

  4. The weird thing is that for the last 15 years of driving I've used my eyes,they work quite well.

    Anyone that needs this needs to get off the road,we have enough things in cars telling us we need to switch on headlights or actually parking for us,if u can't park then please get out of the car and learn to park,it's not difficult.
  5. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 168   +45

    I get what you're saying and agree, but this doesn't sound like a good way to learn lol. Shouldn't they be in the car in order to learn to park? Hard to learn when you not in the car.
    BMfan likes this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    If you need an app to figure out light timing, you need to be a pedestrian, not a motorist.
    trgz likes this.
  7. :) Sometimes it's better to watch someone and take notes.
    Kevin82485 likes this.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Funny I still see people driving at night with their DRLs and no other lights on, scary as hell coming up behind them in the rain especially, which is also not a law here like in most US state, you know the law that says if your wipers are on you need to turn your lights on... But then we get snow and still people are driving around without lights on, it's incredibly dangerous...

    This app is useless to me, traffic lights are programed individually and not on some larger scale network in most parts of Montreal, most are barely synced to allow traffic to flow more than a few intersections at a time let alone. The key is to watch the lights for the cross traffic and the pedestrian lights as they count down, also after I drive someplace enough times I learn the timing. I find it amazing people who drive the same route everyday to and from work can't be bothered to do this, because they're so busy in their cars doing other distracting things these days I suppose... It doesn't help after every power outage most of the lights get reset and now we're back to square one, Welcome to Quebec!
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    This is a great app for traffic light racers, rev the engine to 9000 (even though the red line starts at 6500), wait for your phone to chime then dump the clutch and mash the gas pedal. What could go wrong?
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Launch control on your M4 could fail, making you look like an $80,000 rube.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Launch control? That's for girls.
  12. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    Audi in like 2009 or 2010 did a concept with this kind of system built into the car for fuel economy, the concept was telling the driver what speed he needed to go to avoid stoping at the next light
  13. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 613   +175

    So people flying up on red lights and getting there just as it turns? While others are flying up on yellows from the other way? Brilliant! Plus, once you let mobile devices into the stream you've let hackers into them too.
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Traffic lights can already be easily "hacked." IIRC, you can even buy the controllers online.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Ouch. Simply over engineering. If you need this in Los Angeles, please tell me so I can be sure to not be on the freeways when you are :grrr:
  16. JamesandBennie

    JamesandBennie TS Booster Posts: 170   +14

    I think I can finally play around with my cellphone while waiting for some really long red light. we got 90 seconds red light here.
  17. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Child's play. Theres a light not far from a major airport near where I live that occasionally stays red for a full 10 minutes.

    Play with the phone, go get lunch, watch some grass grow, and it still won't change.

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