Have you heard we may start to see a new color on our traffic lights here in Texas at some point in the future?

For as long as many of us can remember, it's been red, yellow, green. Granted, in some places, you see a separate part of the light that shows protected greens or yellow or whatever. But generally, the 3-color combo is what we've known.

Now, whether some people in the Dallas and Tyler, Texas area actually understand what those colors MEAN is another conversation entirely. Yeah, we're looking at you, yellow light speeder-uppers! (That's a technical term, of course. Also, *looks in mirror*)

But now, speculative reports are coming out in various areas about a 4th color that may be added to our Texas stoplights. But why?

But what would that 4th color be and WHY are we even considering making such a significant change to our Texas stoplights?

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The color would be white. Yep. Just plain ol' white.

Popular Mechanics published a story back in February of 2023 regarding this subject. Since then, more reports have come out discussing the need to make this change due to the burgeoning proliferation of autonomous vehicles, or AV's.

In the article, author Darren Orf makes the case that 'As more autonomous vehicles (AV) begin driving American roads, those roads need to change with them.' He explains that a research team made up of transportation engineers proposed adding a white light 'that allows AVs to leverage their impressive networking capability.'

OK, but what would that mean for all of us regular, human drivers in Texas? How would we proceed?

This idea, which has already influenced some city planners and engineers in their...well, city planning, would mean that regular people driving their NON-autonomous cars would need to learn what to do.

Under this model, drivers who see the white light on the traffic signal would 'simply follow the car in front and could decrease traffic delays significantly,' according to the story.

I think that could potentially help. It would be similar to when a traffic cop is on the street directing traffic, which pre-empts whatever the traffic light might be indicating. Particularly when we will be seeing more and more 'AV's' on our Texas roads.

Your thoughts?

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