A pedestrian crossing that changes its markings depending who is on it has been unveiled in London.
To prevent the accidents that take place between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at crossings, Direct Line teamed up with urban design technologists Umbrellium to create the Smart Crossing.
More than 7,000 incidents at road crossings are recorded in the UK each year.
Usman Haque, the founding partner of Umbrellium, said: "This is an ongoing problem and we’ve developed a genuine solution.
“The Smart Crossing dynamically responds in real-time using technology which has been designed with colours that we know and understand, and practical designs that help those on the crossing feel comfortable, confident and safe.”
Using computer vision technology the surface can detect exactly what’s happening around it. The Smart Crossing’s exciting colours and patterns are designed to get walkers to look up from their phones when crossing the road.
Pedestrians in the UK are used to pressing a button to activate a crossing but with the new system this will be a thing of the past.
Direct Line says nowadays road users are more distracted than ever and take unnecessary risks when crossing the road.
Rachael Lynch, innovation marketing manager at Direct Line said: "Cities across the world are future-proofing and we believe our model could be an essential part of everyday life.
"In a world where we are immersed in mobile technology, the Smart Crossing can pre-empt danger and urge pedestrians to look up before crossing a road.”
The interactive surface can widen to accommodate large groups and adapt to protect pedestrians in emergency situations, such as a child chasing a ball into the path of oncoming traffic.
There are warning signals for pedestrians walking across the road, so they’re not ‘hidden’ by high sided vehicles which can often cause a blind spot for other road users.
At the moment the Smart Crossing is just a trial and there are no immediate plans to roll out the technology onto roads across Britain.
However some are hopeful that it will soon become the norm.
Jason Wakeford, head of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “This innovative pilot is a great example of how technology can help to improve road safety.
“We look forward to seeing the results of this trial and hope Smart Crossings will be rolled out in towns and cities across the country."