03.02.2020

Find well lighted streets with an app

Google is testing the new "Lighting" function for Maps

hat if the app on the smartphone could show the best illuminated way home in the dark on a map? This is what apparently also developers of Google asked themselves. The result is a function for Maps called "Lighting" and is in the development or rather test phase. According to their own information, the developer community XDA Developers tracked it down in a current beta version and published parts of the code. The newly included lighting level is intended to highlight streets with a yellow line where good lighting is provided. It also enables users to avoid paths without or with insufficient lighting. At the moment, nothing is known about whether and when “lighting” will ever be available.

Street lighting and security

Well-lit streets, paths and squares contribute to traffic safety and crime prevention. Numerous studies have proven this. Pedestrians and cyclists in particular benefit from good lighting because accidents at night cause almost twice as many deaths per route travelled as during the day, as the Dutch Institute for Road Safety (SWOV) pointed out.

The industry initiative licht.de explains in its article on "Street lighting and safety" in the brochure “Roads, Paths and Squares“ why our vision deteriorates at night. The main reasons are:

  • the visual acuity decreases
  • distances become more difficult to estimate
  • the perception of colours is lowered at night
  • and in addition, glare reduces visual performance.

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