The analogue indicator
This analogue indicator concept deviates from traditional signal indicators. It is an intelligent visual indicator and traffic management philosophy that extends beyond the signal itself. Traditional indicators display the signals by three independent colored indicators for the motion of go, caution and stop. Inspired by the Marshalite, a rotary traffic signal designed by Charles Marshall used in Australia until the 1970s, analogue indicators display the precise progression through the identical cycle. Where traditional signals force users to estimate the time remaining before a signal change, analogue indicators alleviates uncertainty by an intuitive yet unified recognition of colors, shapes, relative proportions and fluid animations upon one single display. Technological advances enable the flexibility and unity of cycle timing, for one independent signal, or those interconnected throughout the transportation network. I propose this as the evolutionary revolution to the century old technology that is traditional signal indicators; analogue indicators being efficient, adaptive and intelligent.
The user in this notion is aware of the precise moment through the progression of the cycle, hence is able to have better judgment for decisions and further options. Intuitive animations through the use of dynamic LED illumination further assist the visual clarity of the signal. To eliminate ambiguity and increase flexibility, the signal animation does not occur in a continuous loop. The red and green zones (indicating stop and progress respectively) are fully illuminated until the signal descends upon the signal count down. Then will the colored zones begin to decrease in illuminated area as an instinctive representation of a decrease in time remaining. If further signals are necessary, for example turn signals and alerts, the area in the middle can be filled and be used for these very purposes. This light and efficient concept could yield a much better understanding of signal progression for users, without the interference, confusion and visual noise other signal concepts may have resulted. Yet the range of applications and fields open to analogue indicators are unlimited.
Expanding signal intelligence throughout the indicator network is probably the better temporary solution for traffic management. Adjusting signals to match traffic flow, and prioritize traffic flow depending on directional movement can increase the efficiency of traffic networks, while decrease the negative impacts to congestion and subsequent costs. Intelligent signals can also divert traffic to less congested areas, making use of technology to assist in increasing the overall traffic capacity of a congested region (for example from/to the central business district). The system of traffic management has not drastically evolved since its introduction a century ago. Even though technology has developed almost exponentially, it has not found a definite solution to the economic and social costs traffic congestions and urbanization brings. Yet what society need is not an efficient transportation system, it is the reduction of the need to travel, the behavioral, intellectual solution to a problem of behavioral demand. Do the very least to reduce faulty human judgments and make better use of available technology.
Unpublished from June 9, 2008.
Wow, I think this is cool, but I think the world isn’t smart enough.