Xiaolüren “Little Green Man”; officially “Pedestrian Countdown Display” can refer to any pedestrian traffic lights, but most often the animated traffic light system originally from Taiwan. It was first implemented in Taipei City between Songshou Road and Songzhi Road, in 1999, and came into widespread use around the country and almost replaced incandescent, static and non-animated pedestrian traffic lights within a few years. On 18 March 2016, google celebrated Xiaolüren’s 17th birthday with a doodle.


Xiaolüren, a sign on traffic signals for pedestrians, was created in 1961 by traffic psychologist Karl Peglau (1927–2009) as part of a proposal for a new traffic light layout in East Berlin, Germany. The sign is generally for pedestrian road-crossings. The frontal-facing red man denotes “stop”, while the animated side-facing green man in the striding motion denotes “go ahead”. Until 2000, however, the green man was static rather than animated in other cities of the world, including Berlin.

In 1998, the Taipei City Government made Xiaolüren even more effective by adding a numeric countdown to signal how much time was left. Then, they designed Xiaolüren to move at a different pace based on the time left to cross. When the counter ticks under 10, Xiaolüren picks up the pace.

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