Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let There Be Light: Colorblind-Friendly Traffic Signal

According to a recent news report from the Mainichi Daily News, a university professor in Japan has developed prototype traffic signal LEDs that enable persons with red-green colorblindness to distinguish between red and yellow indications. Field tests are underway at several locations, including Fukuoka and Tokyo.

As seen in the photo, the red indication will include an "X" that doesn't show up predominantly to users with regular vision when they get close to the signal, but is easily distinguishable by red-green colorblind drivers.

We've discussed traffic signals quite a bit on Grey Means Go, including this recent post about a prototype for different-shaped traffic signals, and some actual installations of innovative treatments in Kentucky.

What do you think of the "X" red light in Japan? Helpful without distracting other drivers? Any concerns?