Since their inception over a century ago, the colors employed by traffic signals have been largely consistent. Perhaps North Dakota is going to take that to the next level.

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For the vast majority of children, learning the meaning of the three most basic traffic light colors begins at an early age, well before the thought of driving itself occurs. "Red" indicates halt, "Yellow" signifies accelerate, etc. Take care, and go when the light turns green.

In North Dakota and perhaps elsewhere, a fourth option for traffic signal colors will soon be available.

"White" lights might start popping up on signals worldwide very soon. Keep in mind that they haven't decided on a specific color for the light yet; white is simply what they're calling it. On bright days, white probably wouldn't stand out too much.

Why is a new color being added to traffic signals?


In any case, we can thank autonomous vehicles for the new glitter, and a new color is (presumably) on the way. According to Traffic Technology Today, this will make it easier for "real" drivers to coordinate with autonomous vehicles, which will improve traffic flow and fuel efficiency.

The traffic lights will remain as follows: red for stop, yellow for caution, and green for go. The "white" light indicates that you must adhere strictly to the actions of the car ahead of you. In other words, if it comes to a halt, you come to a halt as well.

When a specific threshold of autonomous vehicles is reached, the signals and those vehicles are able to electronically interact and take over the intersection. Anyone can drive regularly in the "white" light lane; all you have to do is follow the leader.

Although those in charge have been discussing this change for the past year or two, no specific date for when it will take place has been announced. You can read more here.

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