If you ever speed through green lights that suddenly turn red, you might want to know about a device mounted to your car's console that could prevent that from happening. It also comes in handy when you're sneaking in some work at a red light, only to have the guy behind you honk when it turns green.
There's an app called EnLighten for iOS and Android phones that alerts you when a traffic light is about to change. When you're driving, it shows you the color of the traffic light ahead of you, then lets you know with lights, sounds and a countdown clock if you'll make it through at your current speed.
EnLighten predicts these changes in part by tapping into a city's smart traffic signals. It also takes cues from your car's GPS about your location and speed.
Now, the EnLighten iOS app just got easier to use. If you drive a BMW, that is.
EnLighten, once confined to your mobile phone, can now be mounted to the console on some BMW models. The device is considerably larger than a cellphone, so it's easier to see.
Plus, there's no need to look around for your phone because EnLighten is right there in front of you. That could help make your commute to and from work or school a lot less frustrating.
Just imagine a future when everyone knew, if they sped up just a little bit, they could get through that green light up ahead. In theory at least, rush hour traffic would flow much smoother.
However, critics of EnLighten say the app only helps the guy who wants to speed through lights before they turn red. There doesn't seem to be much proof of that, though.
Right now, EnLighten is available in only a few cities, like Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City. But it's adding more cities throughout the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The BMW console-mounted device is only available for now in a couple of cities in Oregon.