For bicycle commuters, nothing slows down a morning commute like a string of red lights. Just like traffic lights can cause traffic for motorized vehicles, a red light can cause jam-ups in bike lanes as well. Spring Lab understood this frustration and came up with a way to make the flow of traffic lights less bothersome for cyclists.
Flo is a smart light companion that keeps bicycles moving more often. As a cyclist nears an intersection, Flo detects and calculates the speed of each bicycle using radar. It quickly determines whether riders will need to speed up, maintain speed, or slow down to catch a green light.
Approximately 330 feet before a traffic light, Flo offers personal advice to approaching cyclists. To reduce the time to interpret the message and make it easier to see from a distance, Flo displays four different images of instruction. A turtle signifies that a rider must slow down to catch a green light while a rabbit means to speed up. Riders who should maintain their speed will receive a thumbs up. However, not every red light can be avoided. During the off chance that this happens, a cow will signify that the path is blocked.
In order to keep Flo safe, the messages have to work for everyone. For example, if a rider sees a rabbit, they will be able to reach the necessary speed no matter what age or skill level. Children, elderly, and pros will all be able to make the light without overexerting themselves.
An added benefit of the light companion is that cyclists tend to arrive at the traffic light in groups. This keeps crossways busy and efficient while also providing plenty of visibility for the riders. Three bicycles are much easier to see from a car than one.
Currently, Flo has only hit the market in the Netherlands. Hopefully, similar technology will pop up in other areas soon.
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