Innovation That Matters

App modifies traffic lights for slower pedestrians


The Crosswalk app gives less-able pedestrians more time to cross the road safely.

Launched in April this year, Crosswalk is an app that gives pedestrians with restricted mobility more time to cross the road. Currently the system is being trialled with 10 subjects in the Dutch city of Tilburg. The adapted traffic lights house a sensor that scans the pavements on both sides of the road. If it locates someone using the Crosswalk app then it automatically adjusts the time that the lights remain green. The app has four varied time settings, and the light’s sensor will pick the one suitable for the pedestrian’s level of mobility to ensure that they have more than enough time to cross the road, but also that it doesn’t overly delay the traffic.

The system is the brainchild of Dutch company, Dynniq. Known for their work in intelligent traffic systems, they say the app works with both GPS and the software that’s already installed in the traffic light, meaning that the whole system could be rolled out across the country quickly and without any need to add costly software or hardware.

The scheme is all part of the city’s 25-year plan to make their network of roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Dynniq are also working on a variation of the app that will work for cyclists, notifying the lights when a cyclist is approaching, and also one for the visually impaired that activates a sound pattern to let them know if the light is green or red.

We are slowly beginning to see the future of city design, and there are plenty of companies hard at work on future tech. London, for example, has just opened its first smart street with streetlights powered by footsteps. In the Dutch city of Utrecht, cyclists are trialling a new system that detects their speeds and recommends adjustments to make the green lights. What would you like to see in the cities of the future?




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