For More Information

Srinivasa Sunkari, PE
Senior Research Engineer
Connected Infrastructure
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3135
Ph. (979) 317-2845

The Smart Intersection's updated traffic signal. A state-of-the-art traffic signal has been installed at the Texas A&M University System RELLIS Campus. The Smart Intersection further advances research in traffic signal control, detection technology, and connected vehicle infrastructure. This Smart Intersection was developed with contributions from Econolite, Iteris, Gridsmart, FLIR, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Econolite donated most of the signal control and detection equipment as well as traffic signal cabinets. TxDOT-sponsored research supported staff time to design and develop the initial test applications. TTI provided capital equipment funds for construction of the intersection and additional needed equipment.

The original traffic signal installed was a four-legged high-speed intersection using span wires supported by four poles. The traffic signal has since been upgraded to using mast arms and poles. These poles can accommodate multiple detection and communication equipment for testing. Currently the intersection has protected-permitted operations using flashing yellow arrows (FYA) for all four approaches. The intersection is equipped with an Econolite Cobalt Controller in an Econolite TS-2 Cabinet and can be operated with different traffic signal controllers. A second interconnected cabinet houses additional research equipment.

Cabinet holding Smart Intersection equipment.

High speed advance radar detectors from Iteris are installed on the northbound and southbound directions. Autoscope video detection and Iteris video detection provides detection in the eastbound and westbound direction. In addition to Autoscope and Iteris, a GRIDSMART system facilitates a backup stop bar detection. A FLIR infra-red detector is used to detect pedestrians near the cross walk at the intersection. The intersection has Polara Accessible Pedestrian System (APS) and Econolite Pedestrian Signals on both ends of the crosswalk. This intersection can support different types of roadside units to support research in connected infrastructure. The entire intersection is powered by a 3000 watt Honda generator.

The first research use of this intersection is supporting a TxDOT project to alert pedestrians of turning buses at signalized intersections to improve safety using connected vehicle technology. The system developed and tested relies on a bus communicating with the traffic signal equipment using DSRC Radio. The system determines if the bus will be turning at the intersection based on its route. If pedestrians are detected by the system, a warning “bus turning” notice for pedestrians is provided via an audio alert by the APS. Recently, the intersection supported a USDOT project to develop and test the Traffic Optimization for Signalization Corridors (TOSCo) system before it was deployed in Houston. TTI researchers drove specially equipped cars from CAMP which use the on-board TOSCo algorithm determine the optimum speed to achieve optimum operations.

This Smart Intersection will enable TTI Researchers to install additional signal control, detection, and DSRC as well as other connected infrastructure. The Smart Intersection will support research to develop connected vehicle applications as well as test the interoperability of signal control and connected infrastructure.