The city of Claremore, Oklahoma has approved a project to improve traffic flow across town. Ten key intersections will have a true-presence radar detection system to sense how many vehicles are at an intersection and plan accordingly. The systems use radar to sense all the humans and vehicles at an intersection at any given time and communicate that information wirelessly to a control hub.
“It provides reliable detection so that traffic can flow as efficiently as possible,” said Walter Floyd, vice president of SignalTek, who works with the city to maintain and install traffic lights and provide counsel on traffic flow issues.
The sensor has 16 radar antennas that generate 16 electromagnetic waves – scanning 3,000 times a second – that can detect any object within 140 feet (~42 meters) of the sensor in a 90 degree field of view.
“Down to the ease of it, it’s about getting detection and the right information to the controller, to make sure your movement through the intersection ends quickly and safely,” said John Ford of Wavetronix, the company who makes the systems. “Ultimately, it’s just about getting the right information to the controller so that your cars can move from one side of town to the other, and you’re not sitting at a stoplight without anybody coming across the other way.”
The city has had concerns in the past with traffic detection systems, having to deal with both train traffic and traffic cameras experiencing problems with glare, dirt, and weather issues.
“This is not going to do anything with the train,” Floyd said. “But what it is going to do is give your engineers the correct information to then program lights down the way and work with the train.”