10 Jan '12, 4pm

A traffic light that knows the difference between bikes and cars

No matter how strong a cyclist's legs are, a bike cannot go as fast as a car. Duh, right? But traffic lights are not as smart as humans, and they do not instinctively understand that. So they’re programmed to assume leg-powered vehicles can make it safely through lights in the time allotted to things with engines. Luckily, some human was smart enough to invent the Intersector -- a traffic light that respects the difference between bikes and cars. A few California towns are installing these suckers, which measure the speed and dimension of objects rolling towards them in order to think "BIKE" or "CAR." When the light recognizes a bike it gives the two-wheeler more time to roll through the green -- a whole 14 seconds, which is more than three times as long as cars get.

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2012-01-10-a-traffic-light-that...

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