It’s every city biker’s dream to sail through a wave of non-stop green lights without stopping for cars or pedestrians. Now, with the help of a clever new sensor-based traffic light system, cyclists in the Netherlands may be able to avoid all unnecessary pit stops.
Recently implemented in Utrecht, Netherlands, Flo is a new traffic light designed by Dutch company Springlab. Flo uses sensors to detect cyclists’ speeds about 120 meters (about 400 feet) before a traffic light and tells them whether they need to speed up, maintain the pace, or slow down in order to make the next light.
If they need to pick up the pace, a hare appears.
If they need to slow down because the light hasn’t turned green yet, a turtle shows up.
If they’re going at exactly the right pace, a big thumbs up.
And if no matter how fast or slow they’re going, they won’t make the light? A cow.
Flo was designed as a playful way to address cyclists’ frustrations at constant wait times at traffic lights. “We chose animals because a hare and a turtle are universal symbols for high speed and slow pace,” Jan-Paul de Beer, the chief of Springlab, tells CityLab. “We chose a cow because when you go on holiday to France, which every Dutchman does, you often find yourself waiting for cows blocking the road.”
Right now, there’s only one Flo kiosk installed. But with plans to roll out a couple more in the next few months, cyclists in Utrecht could be the envy of all urban bikers. Watch the video below to see how it works.