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Instead of the classic green-yellow-
red progression, you would have a
digital readout that showed you how
many seconds you had until traffic
would be stopped. Once it reached
zero, it could count down until it was
safe to go again. This would let
people know if they could make the
or not and allow them to adjust
their speed accordingly.
My mother's suggestion: Have the
light turn into a smiley face if you
could make the light at your current
speed and distance. This would
require some kind of projection
system or a hologram that looked
different at different angles, as the
message would differ from car to car.
All over SF now. [egads, Oct 04 2004]
||Well, this is baked in Bombay and a few other cities in India, where they have a digital display besides or above the regular red-yellow-green signal. While this is not individualized like you suggest, its still better than trying to guess how long before the signal changes. No holographic stuff, but it works pretty well.
||[link] Baked in SF. They're nice. I don't much care about them as a pedestrian, since I always found the simple walk/don't-walk indicators to be more than adequate. But as a driver, and especially as a cyclist, these are great. No longer am I faced with that sudden indecision of gunning it or slamming on the brakes. I've quickly gotten good at judging from half a block away whether I'm going to definitely make it, definitely not make it, or somewhere in between.
||Now on the other hand... this definitely seems to encourage some people to speed wildly. But I figure those people are probably going to speed wildly almost no matter what.