There are some of us who are colorblind, and in this case, we might not be able to tell whether a traffic light is red, amber or green – but after a while, we get used to the sequence of the traffic lights, and follow them accordingly. Professor Taro Ochiai of Japan’s Kyushu Sangyo University might be on to something here, where his imagination resulted in a redesigned LED traffic light that can be seen by everyone – colorblind or not. After all, Red-green colorblindness is the most common type of colorblindness, which affects up to 10% of the worldwide population, and LED signals might be the solution to solving the equation.
While ordinary observers will see a non-distracting pink X when close to the traffic signal (the X is normally not noticeable from afar), red-green colorblind observers can distinguish the contrasting blue X against the “yellow” background, even from afar. Sounds legit – hopefully it will enter production soon. Perhaps audio cues can also be incorporated eventually?