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Hour Glass LED Traffic Lights

Designer Thanva Tivawong redesigned the traffic light. The new hourglass-inspired design is not only visually appealing, but also very practical as now you can exactly predict  the next change of the lights. I think every bored panda would love it while sitting in a traffic jam!

Would you replace the current classical stoplights with these new Sand Glass Traffic Lights?

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What do you think?

  • Roy

    The “ready” and “prepare to stop” may lead to some confusion regarding the message they carriy. Other than that, well, the current ones are simple and so worldwide spread that I dont see really the need to change them.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen elsewhere countdown (4,3,2,1…) for green and red light, ant that may be a good solution. Orange should never get countdown as it passes quickly.

  • Henner

    Nice idea, but unusable: >= 4% of the population have some kind of color-blindness. Here the same area is re-used with different colors with (fatal!) different meanings.
    Any design of traffic lights need to be readable with no color vision.

    The countdown is seen in some traffic light designs already and should be used more often though.

    • Myrtonos

      Lari and Henner,
      I have done a lot of reading and really thought about it, don’t just believe it because you hear it said over and over again by people who don’t really know what people like myself are talking about.

      “Any design of traffic lights need to be readable with no color vision.”

      Not necessarily, for a number of reasons:

      *Only holders of driver’s licenses are permitted to drive, obtaining a license requires learning to drive and passing a test.
      *Cars make up most of the motorised vehicles on the road, and nearly all are not single seaters, most can carry four or five people.
      *Colour deficiency varies widely, and green-weak people would have no trouble at all in this case. Only daltonistis (red-blind and green-blind) would have this issue, and as far as I know, not just their ability to read traffic lights but their overall awareness of their surroundings is affected.
      *Archromatopsia, where people only see black, grey and white is really rare. These people also have sub-optimal visual acuity (not correctable to 20/20) as a direct result of lacking colour receptors, so if optimal visual acuity is a requirement for a driver’s license, archromatopes would be effectively excluded from driving.

  • Lari Kovanen

    One big mistake with the lights is that it won’t work for color blind. Todays lights with red on top and green in bottom works. An alternating light won’t.

  • Al

    The yellow one is confusing, if you roll up when its suppose to be a stop but it’s counting down until you can go you might be tempted to speed up thinking it was counting down the time until you have to stop.

  • Jarmo Valmari

    Nice food for thought but better would be to use something like this:

    Countdown of seconds next to the lights. Plain simple, works like charm. Also, something like traffic lights should be dead simple – no room for errors and has to be recognized immediately. Also a global standard is needed. I don’t see a possibility for a timeglass design. Anyway, this works as a reminder of the fact that there are tons of everyday things we take for granted that could be better. Designers usually just think about websites or mobile phones. We shouldn’t forget that we can have real-life improvements in industrial design as well.

  • Diana

    That’s confusing. Really confusing.

  • Myrtonos

    In some juristictions all drivers are requried to distinguish between red, yellow and green. Thinking about it, how does one decide whether all drivers should distinguish between the colour on traffic lights or traffic lights should not require such colour distinctions to be understood. Not everyone is disadvantaged without a car and most can carry four or five people.
    Whether or not you requrie all drivers to pass a colour vision test makes a difference to the demands on the design of signs, signals and markings. I have been wondering whether the equvalent is the case for drivers with other visual impairments.
    A colour normal person who is equal to the above poster in all other areas of visual (and visual processing) ability will be just as good as you at driving through an uncontrolled, and making any unprotected far-side turns, including across the rush hour stream.
    On the flipside of it, if all areas of visual ability other than visual field and stereopsis are equal, a one-eyed person’s ability to read signs signals and markings will be the same as a two-eyed person, but the one eyed person may have difficulties with permissive turns (especially far-side ones) and especially with driving through uncontrolled intersections.