The History And Evolution Of Traffic Lights


Imagine a set of people having a heated discussion in a closed room. The conversation can turn into a complete mess if there is no coordinator to lớn look after these people & guide the chatter. In such a situation that isn’t controlled, all we would hear is random shouting & noise, as noone would want lớn be left behind, so everyone would try to lớn express his/her point of view without consideringwhat the other person has khổng lồ say. This kind of situation would ultimately lead lớn total chaos.

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Now, imagine the same situation taking place on our roads, & simplyreplace the set of people with vehicles. If people were to drive their cars randomly without caring about or consideringother vehicles on the road, it could lead to chaos và may result in accidents; the end result can be catastrophic.

Enter traffic lights, which play the role of coordinators on the road. They control the flow of the ever-increasing number of automobiles on the road and they also help in preventing accidents.

Let’s take a closer look at how traffic lights have evolved over time.

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The First Traffic Signal

Although the purpose of a traffic signal is lớn regulate the flow of automobiles, traffic signals came into existence long before automobiles were invented. The idea for developing traffic signals began in the 1800’s, & on December 10, 1868, the first gas-lit traffic lights were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. This mã sản phẩm was proposed by a British railway engineer, J.P Knight. It was implemented to lớn control the traffic of horse carriages in the area, và to allow pedestrians to safely cross the roads.

The gas-fueled lights needed khổng lồ be manually controlled by a police officer using semaphore arms. During the daytime, the semaphore arms would be raised or lowered by the police officer, signaling vehicles whether they should proceed or stop. At night, instead of arms, gas-lit red and green lights were used. Red signaled carriages to stop, & green meant proceed. Red was used to stop, as it represented danger or caution, whereas green was determined to lớn be a more reassuring color in most cultures and also has a strong emotional correspondence with safety.

As these were gas-lit lights, there were some incidents of lights exploding at night & injuring police officers who were controlling them. Therefore, the gas-lit traffic lights were not entirely safe to use.

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The First Electric Traffic Lights

In the early 1900’s, the world was developing at a very rapid pace, và with the growth of industrialization, cities became more crowded. Furthermore, with the invention of automobiles, the traffic on the roads increased significantly, so there was a need for a better traffic system.

In 1912, an American policeman, Lester Wire, who was concerned with the increasing traffic, came up with the idea of the first electric traffic light. Based on Wire’s design, the lights were first installed in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5, 1914, at the corner of 105th and Euclid Avenue.

At that time, it was said that this invention would revolutionize the handling of traffic in congested cities. As it turned out, the modern traffic system still works on the same principle as Wire’s original system. The momentous occasion of the first electric traffic light turning 101 years old on August 5, 2015 was celebrated by Google Doodle.

The first electric traffic light had only red & green lights; it did not have a yellow light like modern-day traffic signals. Instead of a yellow light, it had a buzzer sound thatwas used lớn indicate that the signal would be changing soon.

The First Four-way & Three-colour Traffic Lights

city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands has introduced bicycle traffic lights fitted with a rain sensor. When it is raining, these lights give higher priority to lớn bicycle lanes at an intersection.

The Future of Traffic Lights

The number of vehicles on the road has been drastically increasing every year và will continue toincrease, so traffic signals must continue khổng lồ improve to accommodate these higher amounts of traffic.

Connected Vehicles

In the future, we will have connected vehicles that would be able khổng lồ communicate with traffic signals and other vehicles. As the cars would be able lớn communicate with traffic signals, this would allow them to know whether they can make it in time lớn the next signal before it turns red; the signal can also urge you lớn speed up in order to lớn make the signal on time.

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Eventually, a time will come when signals will ask the cars where they are going và change traffic plans accordingly.

Traffic signals will improve over time, there is no doubt about that, & they will continue lớn provide safer and faster commutes for vehicles. However, it will still all be a waste if we don’t follow traffic rules. Most accidents occur as a result of breaking traffic rules, so on the 101st anniversary of traffic lights, let’s make a pledge khổng lồ follow traffic rules to ensure a smooth và safe drive for everyone on the road!