Could LED road surfaces help to reduce the number of accidents in the future?
First ever responsive road technology revealed in London
Radical new LED responsive road technology has been developed which will be able to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards on the road.
The new technology was revealed in London and has been developed by urban design technologists Umbrellium for Direct Line insurance.
The first ever responsive road uses high definition cameras and LED technology enclosed in the road surface and in the future could notably reduce the number of accidents on our roads.
The founding partner of Umbrellium Usman Haque, whose an architect by trade, clarified exactly what the concept was: “We’ve created a road that’s capable of detecting and responding to pedestrians. Two cameras capable of recording hundreds of different variables monitor the 22-metre crossing and once they detect pedestrians or other road users, will feed the information to the computer system in less than a hundredth of a second.”
Umbrellium’s computer programme uses machine learning to help foresee how pedestrians move and generates a crossing for them.
Mr Haque says the road surface is made using high-impact plastic which in the future could be embedded into asphalt and is strong enough to withstand heavy volumes of traffic, is waterproof and can also differentiate between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Within the plastic are more than 660 LED lights which can be programmed to change colour and build patterns, such as a warning to cyclists and cars or even a pedestrian crossing.
The cost of the 22-metre road has not been revealed but Mr Haque said the team had taken nine months to build it.
Depending on the situation, the road surface reacts in real time, changes colour and a pattern appears depending on the event. For example, two pedestrians are crossing the street in opposite directions. Meanwhile, a van concealing a cyclist comes up to the junction. Whilst the van begins to slow down, the road surface rapidly turns red which warns the cyclist that one more pedestrian is still waiting to cross the road.
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