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, 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 the purchase of the GRIDSMART pedestrian detection camera and 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 traffic signal is a four-legged high-speed intersection using span wires supported by four poles. These poles are 32 feet in height and can accommodate multiple detection and communication equipment for testing. Currently the intersection has protected-permitted operations in the north-south direction using flashing yellow arrows (FYA) and permitted operations in the east-west direction. The intersection is equipped with an Econolite Cobalt Controller in an Econolite TS-2 Cabinet. A second interconnected cabinet houses additional research equipment.
High speed advance Accuscan Radar is installed on the northbound and southbound directions. Autoscope video detection provides detection in the eastbound and westbound direction. The GRIDSMART system facilitates stop bar and pedestrian detection. The GRIDSMART single-camera system uses a bell camera, and vision-based tracking algorithms, to detect various pedestrians and vehicles at an intersection. A Savari DSRC Roadside Unit supports research in connected infrastructure. The intersection has a painted crosswalk and Polara Accessible Pedestrian System (APS) and Econolite Pedestrian Signals on both ends of the crosswalk. 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 GRIDSMART system, a warning “bus turning” notice for pedestrians is provided via an audio alert by the APS. In addition, a “special bus” head above the pedestrian head lights up. Pedestrians are also alerted via a newly developed smartphone app.
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.