KLK131: Pilot Deployment of Plug-and-Play Smart Traffic Signals
Richard Wall, James Frenzel and Brian Johnson
The result of this project will be to
develop and deploy a fully functional Smart APS PnP Pedestrian
signal in Moscow. We have three goals for this project:
- Educate the world of the benefits and potential of PnP
distributed signals and sensors (DSSN) for traffic signals,
- Develop and document the acceptance procedures for this
type of traffic controller equipment,
- Develop and document the plan for integration of the new PnP
DSSN into existing ACS traffic controllers.
Year 1 Task 1: Engineering The development phase
consists of developing system specifications for
functionality, security, reliability, and packaging for
field installation. System specification will be a
collaborative effort including representatives of the
ECE, Civil, Computer Science, and Psychology (human
factors) departments. We will solicit user requirements
from the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and the
Idaho School for the Blind.
Year 1 Task 2: Fabrication Hard ware will be
manufactured that is field deployable. The equipment
will meet local, state and federal electrical and
traffic codes. We will work closely with a traffic
controller manufacturer to get the required traffic
controller software updates to make the necessary
traffic controller operating variables accessible to
systems outside the controller.
Year 1 Task 3: Test Planning A verification test
plan will be developed to ensure the final installation
meets or exceeds regulations and design expectation.
Equipment will be developed that will monitor and
archive the inputs and outputs of the existing
controller and the new PnP DSSN system for verification
during the testing phase. A test plan will be designed
that allows comparison of the conventional controls and
the new PnP DSSN systems. The development and execution
of the test plan will be completed with ITD involvement.
Year 2 Task 1: Deployment The deployment phase will
be done in cooperation with ITD to get the PnP DSSN
equipment and data recording equipment installed in a
traffic controller cabinet. Initially we propose that
the equipment be installed at the corner of 6th Street
and Deakin Avenue.
Year 2 Task 2: Integration Since this signal only
permits two street crossings, we propose that, subject
to ITD approval, both a PnP DSSN signal and a
conventional countdown pedestrian signal be installed on
the Deakin Street crossing. We are requesting audible
APS devices be installed for both directions. Only a
single pedestrian button will be installed but the
contact will be used to request service on both the PnP
DSSN and conventional controller inputs. It is our plan
to have a conventional countdown pedestrian signal
installed on the 6th Street crossing.
Year 2 Task 3: Testing The data will be recorded
for a period of time that covers a range of pedestrian
usage and environmental conditions. A monitor camera may
possibly indicate ancillary benefits provided by request
confirmation feedback and driver influence on pedestrian
behavior. Additional tests using video cameras are
planned to determine the effectiveness of remotely
operated pedestrian as well as dynamic audible signals
for people of low-vision.
Year 2 Task 4: Evaluation The assessment phase will
involve data analysis from all parties involved in the
project. Failure rates resulting from non-functioning
equipment or signal conflicts will provide hard metrics
for MTBF and service availability figures of merit.
Users (human factors and representatives of the school
of the blind) analyzing video recording will provide
assessment of the contribution to pedestrian
accessibility and safety. These results will be
disseminated through appropriate conferences and
journals and masters degree theses.
Formulation of design team--9/15/2006
Smart Signals Conference 2006--10/31/2006
Final System Specification--11/31/2006
System test plan--3/31/2007
Laboratory testing completed--4/30/2007
Engineering Design Expo display--5/1/2006
The total UTC funding for this project is $139,017.25
A student design team will
consist of two computer or electrical engineering and a civil
engineering graduate students as well as ECE senior design
students for two years. The PIs and a faculty member
knowledgeable in traffic signals will advise these students.
Educationally, we expect to have three graduate students earn
their masters degrees based upon the work on this project.
Relationship to the NIATT Strategic Plan and to Other Research
This project results in a demonstration that represents an
intermediate step between the existing traffic signal
architecture and a fully distributed smart traffic signal. This
proposal directly addresses the issue of research as stated in
the NIATT Strategic Plan: We work with industries and research
institutions to develop and evaluate new transportation
technologies and bring these technologies to the marketplace.
This proposal meets the expectation for both graduate and
undergraduate education as covered by the NIATT strategic plan
for Education and Research.
The senior design students working on the hardware for the
field deployable system and the data logger for monitoring the
system performance will form a multidisciplinary team
representing electrical, computer, and civil engineering. The
students will be exposed to topics outside of their primary
areas of study. The electrical engineering students will learn
more about traffic operations and design for public
infrastructure. Civil engineering students will learn about
software based intelligent sensors and controllers. In addition,
all of the students will learn about present systems for
configuring traffic signals, as well as the new systems
developed in this project. We anticipate that this will help
create a broader discipline base of students interested in
transportation engineering field. This claim is based upon a
successful placement of an ECE graduate as an intern at
Econolite in the summer of 2006.
Technology Transfer Activities
1. Smart Signals workshops 2006, 2007, and 2008
2. TRB and ITS papers
3. Developing a cooperation agreement with Econolite
Potential Benefits of the Project
The technology used to distribute sensor and
signal information by present traffic controllers has not
changed significantly since the first controllers in the 1920s.
The PnP DSSN approach to interfacing smart signals and sensors
will spur on advanced sensors and signals resulting in safer
traffic operations and more efficient use of streets served by