The Age of the Traffic Control Freak

How would you feel if somebody tried to sell you one of those old telephones where you have to dial the number using a rotary dial? Or what about one of those old cathode-ray tube TVs instead of the nice sleek flat screens TV that we use now? I could name another few examples, but I think you get the point; by now, why would you use outdated technology when better things are available?

In today’s transportation world it has become important for traffic signal timings to be accurate and consistent and for detection solutions to provide the highest value for money. Here at GRIDSMART® we define value for money as traffic sensors that do the job extremely well, provide video verification of accuracy and are capable of supporting dual purposes. We believe that traffic sensors should be able to support adaptive traffic signal control and provide the performance data required for MAP 21.

We have thought through the process from beginning to end and developed a sensor that is simple to install, simple to operate and extremely safe to implement. You don’t need to close any lanes. We have also minimized cost by adopting a single camera solution and using one single cable to deliver power and communications.

We describe ourselves as traffic control freaks because we have an obsession and a laser sharp focus on improving traffic control by providing traffic sensors that work and deliver the maximum capability. We only make one product so it gets our undivided attention and the highest levels of customer service and technical support. Why would you buy from that door to door brush salesman who will sell you anything that is contained in his suitcase? We never attempt to be a one-stop shop, we never attempt to be a jack of all trades, we just do one thing and do it really well.

So why am I telling you all this? Because we have a value proposition that is unequaled in the transportation world and we want to tell you about it. Why settle for blind sensors that don’t provide the ability to see the intersection, disrupt the integrity of the road surface and serve a single-purpose?

Let’s not even talk about the insanity of burying copper, a nonrenewable resource, in the ground. And while we’re at it, let’s address that old issue regarding comparative accuracy of pavement mounted sensors compared to video sensors for traffic signals. Sure, that legacy technology we call loops can deliver about 1 to 2% in terms of absolute accuracy, but what happens when we also take account of availability? Commonly accepted wisdom in the transportation profession is that at any given time in an urban area, 25% of the inductive loops are not working. So if we adopted a true quality measure that included both accuracy and availability then we have the total package in terms of safety, efficiency and user experience.

If this article has provoked you a little bit then we have achieved our objective. Pick up the phone, check out and take a new look at how traffic signal detection and performance management data collection should be done in the 21st century. At GRIDSMART® we are traffic control freaks and we love to talk with others as passionate as we are.