EnLighten is an apps for iOS and Android which is able to let the user know what is the current state of the traffic light about two blocks ahead. Therefore, when we know about it, we can approximately know how long we need to wait for the traffic light to change its current status and thus it somehow makes the waiting time to be shorter and we could use it to do something else, like for example browsing songs on Spotify.
The app’s user interface is very simple. There is only 1 circle on the screen which is able to turn red, yellow or green depending on the current state of the signal. At the bottom of the circle is a countdown feature which its purpose is to let the users know how long they need to wait before the traffic light change its colour. It may seem that you are controlling the traffic light but actually you are not. When the traffic light is about to change to green colour five seconds before, there is a chime sound generated to alert the driver to stop whatever he is doing and prepare to concentrate on the road.
In order for the apps to work, it needs cooperation from the city. As it needs to gain access from the central system which then will talk to traffic lights in the city and transfer the information back to EnLighten. Even though the whole process needs about 1 second, however, the negotiation process to make it workable in each city takes longer time. Currently, it is only working in Portland, Eugene as well as Salt Lake City.
EnLighten is developed by a company called Connected Signals which headquarters are based on Portland and Eugene.