At the last TSA meeting on Wednesday. Mike Beck presented information on the MS SEDOC Intersector a new microwave based vehicle detector available from Western Pacific Signal. It provides motion and presence detection and provides a bicycle discrimination capability. The bicycle discriminattion detection is the most interesting feature. Now it is possible to provide traffic responsive bicycle appropriate traffic signal timing (green extension and clearance) for controllers that provide that capability like the Naztec NTCIP Based TS2 / 2070 Controllers.
The unit demonstrated provides eight zones of detection and four outputs so it is capable of detection for four lanes. To provide vehicle and bicycle detection for each of four lanes two zones would be needed for each lane but with the limit of four outputs, some lanes would have to be combined. In the future, modules with more zones and outputs will be available. Currently up to five units may be installed at the same intersection.
This feature is even more interesting with new legislation in California, AB1581, that requires new or modified traffic signal detectors to have bicycle detection capability.
Microwave detection, with these new features, may eliminate many of the problems associated with other technologies like video (weather and lighting) and loops (roadway cuts and damage by roadwork).
It looks like this technology may be capable of much more in the future. Queue detection would be nice for modified density features that can properly respond for right turn lanes and protected /permissive left turn lanes. More outputs, more zones, and the ability to link the units settings database to traffic management systems.
I’m looking forward to some long needed improvements to traffic control using detectors that provide bicycle discriminating features like this..