“The radar detected gaps in traffic better than video and exhibited detection accuracy that was on par with video in good weather. It is not affected by weather or light, so its accuracy under adverse conditions would exceed video.”

July 21, 2011

PROVO, UT—A study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) has investigated a number of detectors used for signalized intersection control, and it has found SmartSensor Advance to be a viable option that Texas Department of Transportation and other agencies “can and should consider for replacement of video imaging systems and inductive loops.”

Study 0-5845: Alternative Vehicle Detection Technologies for Traffic Signal Systems notes that TxDOT has used video imaging vehicle detection systems at signalized intersections for a number of years, “[e]ven though the accuracy of VIVDS for any presence detection is known to be inferior to inductive loops, and even more so during inclement weather, in changing light conditions, and during nighttime…”

According to TTI, the purpose of this study was to identify detectors that would be viable candidates to replace both video and loops. After some initial research, TTI narrowed the field of study candidates down to three: magnetometers from Global Traffic Technologies and Sensys Networks; and the Wavetronix SmartSensor Advance. The study found the detection accuracy of all three to be “within a desirable range,” and indicated all three were viable options. “However,” the study notes, “a decision by TxDOT to remove all detection from the pavement would eliminate… magnetometers from further consideration.”

In addressing SmartSensor Advance, the study correctly states that the radar unit only provides dilemma zone protection and is not intended for detection at the stop bar (for effective stop bar detection, Wavetronix offers the SmartSensor Matrix). “The radar detected gaps in traffic better than video and exhibited detection accuracy that was on par with video in good weather,” the study says. “It is not affected by weather or light, so its accuracy under adverse conditions would exceed video.”

Although the study was conducted in 2008, the results are still very relevant today, according to Ian Lee of Twincrest Technologies, the authorized Wavetronix dealer in Texas. “TxDOT is recognized as a leader in the adoption of innovative traffic detection technology, and districts throughout the state are now utilizing radar detection,” Lee says. “Both SmartSensor Advance and SmartSensor Matrix have been added to TxDOT’s pre-qualified product list.”

Inclusion on TxDOT’s pre-qualified product list means a product has been thoroughly evaluated and meets state specifications, and is not an endorsement of any product.