The ‘three to one traffic display’ by Dutch industrial design student Dennis Van Melick utilizes LED screens to offer realtime, updatable traffic and lane information, even as they function as ordinary traffic lights. Van Melick is currently in talks with production companies and city officials to potentially bring his patent-protected design and prototype to an urban trial. The project was on exhibition during dutch design week 2011 at the design academy eindhoven’s graduation show and at the Klockgebouw Tower in the Strijp-S zone of the city.
Rather than relying on simply red, yellow, and green colours for information, the ‘three to one’ display makes use of unique symbols for each designation, facilitating their use for the colourblind: a red square for ‘stop’, an orange triangle for ‘slow’, and a green circle for ‘go’. In addition, the signs can be dynamically converted to signify an emergency lane for the passage of ambulances, fire, or police vehicles; to close a lane in the event of an accident or other obstacle ahead; or to designate a bus lane. the signals themselves consist of a polycarbonate frame with a reflective border, in addition to the LED panel.
The system relies entirely on existent infrastructure: the screens can be affixed to existing traffic frames, and the information to control their operation is already contained within the boxes inside existing poles, which already access many kinds of wireless data that goes unused. The efficiency of LED lights saves electricity, while an innovative suspension system makes installation easy and resistant to vandalism. Because only the screen needs to be mounted, ‘three to one’ is easily adaptable to both freestanding and hanging display modules.