A satellite navigation app that has a countdown to how long a traffic light will change has been recognised as a CES 2020 Innovation Awards honoree.
The Slovakian Sygic navigation app used by more than 200 million drivers globally has a new and free Traffic Lights countdown add-on.
It is only working in the US at the moment with plans to be introduced in Europe in 2020. There is no scheduled release time yet for Australia.
How the countdown works
The Traffic Lights countdown add-on does not trigger a green light.
That’s a particular issue with riders whose motorcycles may not be large enough to be detected by the induction loop cut into the pavement. Click here to read more about triggering green lights.
Instead, the Sygic add-on displays a green or red light countdown timer at each traffic light.
They claim it will encourage motorists to slow down, increasing safety at intersections, reducing CO2 emissions and improve traffic flow.
Sygic CEO Martin Strigac says their artificial intelligence add-on “will have a major impact on safety and the time of arrival”.
“The kit will be continuously upgraded with additional assistance features, including detection of speed-limit signs, lanes, and obstacles on the road, and collision detection,” he says.
“We are also exploring the idea of integrating it with rail-crossing warning systems.”
Two out of every three motorcycle accidents (66.7%) occur at intersections and motorists running red lights is one of the major causes of those crashes.
Anything that can reduce that would be welcome.
However, we are unsure if a countdown feature for a green light to turn red might actually encourage motorists to speed up to catch the light.
Also, a countdown to a red light turning green might encourage motorists to jump the lights.
We are also concerned that drivers who already don’t look for motorcyclists might be more intent on watching their satnav traffic light countdown feature than scanning the road for riders.
Technology is great when it is proven to increase safety, but the jury is still out on this, as far as we are concerned.
Meanwhile, the CES 2020 Innovation jury of 82 technology experts says the Sygic GPS Navigation’s Traffic Lights add-on “showcased innovative features that scored highly across the evaluation criteria and joins a special group of other products given this honour.”