The City of Walnut Creek recently released a new mobile app that alerts drivers when traffic lights change.
Called Enlighten, the free app provides audible cues a few seconds before a light changes colors. When stopped at a red light, drivers that use the app receive a countdown with an audible signal (it sounds like a train whistle) just before the light turns green. The feature could work well for daydreamers and those easily distracted from the task of driving.
The app will also notify drivers how many seconds they have before an approaching green light turns yellow.
Walnut Creek officials believe that the app will encourage safer driving. There will now be an audio cue as to what is happening with the traffic signals. Previously, drivers rarely would see the sequence of the upcoming light, either because of curves in the road or lack of attention. There will now be an audible warning that something is about to happen that will alert drivers to pay more attention. The city also hopes the technology will smooth traffic and encourage drivers to stay alert in busy intersections.
"We are pleased to bring this innovative technology to Walnut Creek," Mayor Bob Simmons said in a statement for Contra Costa Transportation Authority. "It is a great first step in opening our roadways to technology that will make our streets safer in the future."
Walnut Creek is only the second California city to adopt this technology.
Enlighten is available for iPhone and Android users.