We enjoy finding stories about the various ways LED lighting can improve lives, experiences, and processes. In the past, we've covered how the lighting technology can help to grow plants in outer space, make the Times Square ball drop even more spectacular, and light up remote villages of Africa.
That's why when we heard this story about BikeScout lighting up bike paths in The Netherlands, we lit up. Pun intended. We were especially excited about it because our international office is located in Amsterdam and The Netherlands is one of the most bike-friendly countries. (Amsterdam is appointing a Bike Mayor, for crying out loud.)
Just like railroad crossings have lights, sounds, and signals to indicate when a train is approaching, BikeScout does something very similar for bike path crossings.
Radar trackers measure for oncoming bikers analyze the data of cyclists, pedestrians, and cars. If a cyclist is approaching the bike crossing at the same time as a car, LED lights lining the intersection will begin to flash, warning cars to stop.
The city of Eindhoven had BikeScout installed in March in a notoriously crowded roundabout. The local traffic control can monitor the effects of BikeScout through an app. The app stores data from the intersection which becomes a useful tool when developing future infrastructure projects.
Can you imagine what this could do for large cities in the U.S. such as Portland, Seattle, or Washington D.C., where people bike everywhere? Bicycle accidents happen, yet with the help of LED lighting and BikeScout they can be greatly reduced.
Obviously, this type of incredible technology does not come cheap. It cost Eindhoven about $43,000 to install the first system and will run the city about $1,100 annually in upkeep. But if you calculate the savings in lawsuits, emergency response, and pollution control, it's probably money well spent.
By using LED lighting and detection technology in modern cars to warn drivers about other road users in infrastructure, new opportunities can be created to enhance traffic safety.
It's pretty cool to see what LED lighting can provide in future traffic safety features.