A UK design firm creates a new kind of crosswalk that uses LED lights to help pedestrians cross safely

Crosswalks have remained fairly standard throughout the world—black and white stripes painted across the pavement, and sometimes a light telling you when you’re free to cross. Well, UK design firm Umbrellium is turning this age-old crosswalk design on its head by incorporating responsive LED lights to warn pedestrians or drivers of traffic ahead. It even adjusts to weather conditions or location, like in school zones.

The system is still in a prototype phase. Usman Haque, founding partner of Umbrellium, tells Fast Company that this new design puts pedestrians first:

“Typically, when we hear about road technology, it’s almost always about cars, autonomous vehicles, traffic light control systems, but what we wanted to do is create a pedestrian crossing technology that puts people first, responding to their needs…Technology enables a more interactive, fluid, and adaptive relationship between pedestrians and the street–you might almost think of it as a ‘conversational interface’ with the road.”

Umbrellium

Crosswalks have remained fairly standard throughout the world—black and white stripes painted across the pavement, and sometimes a light telling you when you’re free to cross. Well, UK design firm Umbrellium is turning this age-old crosswalk design on its head by incorporating responsive LED lights to warn pedestrians or drivers of traffic ahead. It even adjusts to weather conditions or location, like in school zones.

The system is still in a prototype phase. Usman Haque, founding partner of Umbrellium, tells Fast Company that this new design puts pedestrians first: