Cats eyes to be replaced with new solar-powered LED technology

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Cats eyes in the road are set to be a thing of the past, as the British Government Ministers are set to amend legislation and replace them with new LED solar-power lights.

Originally invented in the 1930s by Yorkshiremen Percy Shaw, cats eyes are now used a road safety measure globally, and was inspired by Shaw’s pet cat.

The new LED studs can be seen up to 1000 yards ahead, which is 10 times further than the current accepted model of cats eye. The new lights can work for up to 10 days with 4 hours of charge, and cost the same over their working lifetime as traditional cats eyes.

The new designs are already used in some accident black spots across the UK, but still include reflective strips – as traffic regulations currently state that “reflective road studs” must be used. Once these regulations are changed, it’s argued that technology can move forward and offer new alternatives. Current cats eyes rely on headlights beaming onto them for them to reflect – but the new studs will have LEDs inside of them, meaning they’ll light up regardless.

LEDs currently used in some areas of the UK are called ‘Solarlites’ and are being rolled out more and more by councils concerned by road safety. Graham Muspratt, the group product manager at Astucia, the company behind the lights, said: “We hope that they will become the norm, they have clear road safety benefits as well as other benefits to drivers. It is much less stressful driving when the road studs are used because drivers can see further ahead. They have also been proven to improve road discipline”.
What do you think is next in road safety technology developments? Tweet us at @Liftshare with your thoughts!
Photo credit: Geograph.ie

Author Lex Barber

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