Red lights are the momentum-sucking bane of any bicyclist—they add time to the trip and kill your physical efficiency (just ask a physicist!). But thanks to some weird, animal-based technology in the Netherlands, riders may soon be able to sail through the city on a magic wave of green lights without having to worry about stopping for cars.
Flo, a traffic system that went into place last week in Utrecht, is a tall, blue kiosk abutting a bike path. Using sensors, it determines cyclists’ speed from hundreds of feet out and displays several kinds of symbolic advice. If cyclists need to speed up to catch a green light at the next intersection, they get a hare (not to be confused with a rabbit):
If it’s better to slow down and coast a bit until the light turns from red to green, they get a turtle or perhaps a tortoise:
In the happy occasion their pace is perfectly timed to reach the green, it’s a thumbs-up:
And if they’re not going to make the green no matter how spry or sluggish they are, they receive…. uh, a cow: