Local app 'Enlightens' drivers of traffic light duration

Local app 'Enlightens' drivers of traffic light duration

EUGENE, Ore. - Imagine you're in traffic, stuck at a red light and you're wondering, how long until this thing turns green?

Matt Ginsberg of Eugene high tech start-up Green Driver has something that might help.

For many drivers, red lights raise their blood pressure several notches. Green Driver’s new G.P.S. app called ‘Enlighten’ can help relieve the stress of red lights.

"Once you stop, it tells you how long the light's going to be red. 5 seconds before the light changes it sounds a little chime, telling you to get ready to drive,” said Ginsberg, the CEO of Green Driver.

While other G.P.S tools can divert your attention, Ginsberg says Enlighten is low-maintenance and should lower stress levels.

"If the light's going to be red for a long time and you're told (audibly by the app), you don't sit there thinking, ‘Uh, is this light broken?’," says Ginsberg.

The Enlighten app gives you a visual countdown on your smart phone, and it speaks.

Ginsberg demonstrated the app in a test drive Friday in downtown Eugene. “13 seconds remaining,” the app announced. 

"So there you go, it says 13 seconds left to go, so I know I can look at you… we can have our conversation," explained Ginsberg, just before the app alerted him to the imminent green light.

Another benefit of the app is fuel economy.  Ginsberg says if Enlighten and his earlier traffic app, Green Driver, ever went nationwide it would be huge. He calculates annual fuel savings would be about 3-billion gallons of gas.