More and more, transportation officials in the UK are discovering the benefits of utilizing SmartSensor HD for vehicle detection. The accuracy and reliability of the non-intrusive HD make it an ideal solution for replacing inductive loops on one approach to the M6 Toll Road.

January 13, 2015

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM—More and more, transportation officials in the UK are discovering the benefits of utilizing SmartSensor HD for vehicle detection. The accuracy and reliability of the non-intrusive HD make it an ideal solution for replacing inductive loops on one approach to the M6 Toll Road.

The M6’s history is emblematic of the road surface issues faced by transportation departments around the world. Built originally in 1958, the M6 was closed just one year later because the road surface had deteriorated due to freeze/thaw cycles. At the time, engineers chose to incorporate surface water drainage, but the problem of road surface deterioration continued to be a real concern.

Gartland O’Neill, regional sales manager for Wavetronix in the UK, says concerns about surface deterioration led EM Highways, the ASC contract holder for Area 9 in the UK, to look at alternatives to inductive loops for the M42 approach to the M6 Toll Road. In collaboration with Mway Communications Ltd, they chose SmartSensor HD for six loop replacement sites in October 2014. 

“They wanted to prolong the life of the blacktop surface and they see cutting loops as being detrimental to this,” O’Neill said. 

SmartSensor HD was the first radar traffic sensor approved in the UK through the exhaustive MCH-1529 process, which proved that HD has detection accuracy comparable to inductive loops and that it works within the UK’s MIDAS system infrastructure.

Since its approval in 2011, more than 300 HD installations have taken place in the UK – a trend that corresponds with the UK’s desire to create smarter roadways with proven modern technology. Using HD in the place of loops gives traffic engineers the data they need for any intelligent transportation system while avoiding the pitfalls of intrusive technologies, including blacktop deterioration.