You've likely heard about solar-powered cars but aren't likely to pass one on the street. However, solar technology is now being used to control how you drive.
The colors are the same as a traditional traffic light, but there's something different about this one in the construction zone on Cliff Avenue at Interstate 90. This light is using light for power. Some drivers say this is something new to them.
"No, but I've actually seen street signs that are, in Phoenix, Arizona and that was awesome," driver Brenda Cooper said.
The company that makes these solar-powered traffic signals says the use of the four lights at this project is the most extensive use of this technology anywhere in the country. The City of Sioux Falls has also turned to the technology.
"Yeah, we've used them quite a bit this summer for different projects for temporary signals," traffic engineer Heath Hoftiezer said.
Traffic Engineer Heath Hoftiezer says the lights allow construction crews to work safely in an area where traffic is under control. He says they're nice because the can easily be moved and programming them is not complicated.
"Sometimes something can happen and you need to keep traffic going. If you can pull in a trailer and just basically set up the lights in a matter of minutes it can be very advantageous," Hoftiezer said.
He says the lights even generate power on a cloudy day and because the traffic lights are efficient LED lights, they can last for several days without charging up. Those advancements mean the technology is here to stay.
"I think that's an excellent idea. I think that's awesome," Cooper said.
The temporary lights can also be used where traffic is down to one lane. With the lights in place, crews don't have to rely on two separate people to flag traffic on each end of the project.