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Embrace wireless technology – but look after it

As recently published in Smart Highways Magazine, Clearview Traffic has long been an advocate of wireless technology – we were the first company in the UK to introduce wireless vehicle detection technology as a replacement for loops at traffic signal junctions.

wireless

Since 2009, the M100 technology has been deployed at over 1,500 SCOOT and MOVA junctions across the UK.

As leading providers of intelligent transport systems, our innovative traffic data solutions continue to deliver outstanding results in line with wireless technology use.

In the last two years, we’ve also introduced wireless technology innovations in bicycle detection and parking, both with the aim of raising road user awareness of other road users, smoothing traffic flow and reducing congestion.

And these technologies can have an incredible impact on easing traffic, but just because they’re wireless it doesn’t mean that they don’t need looking after.

The sensors themselves are virtually indestructible, but components like RF repeaters and access points which are used to gather and relay data from sensors to a back office system or roadside controller are often battery powered.

And just like the batteries in your TV remote control or home smoke alarm system, they need periodic checking, light maintenance or swapping out to guarantee ongoing performance.

However, in some cases this just isn’t happening and it brands the technology wrongly as unreliable. We believe that ITS is the way forward in traffic data collection in the UK.

In some cases, maintenance contractors decline to get involved with this very simple light touch maintenance through lack of training or in some cases a preference to revert back to loop technology because they can make more revenue from this older more invasive technology regardless of the cost and other benefits to the authority and their citizens of embracing new technology.

We need to be more explicit about our expectations during contract negotiations about adopting these elements as part of the contracts before they are awarded and stop allowing these organisations to label the technology as the problem and instead encourage them to adopt it.

After all, when you take your car for a service, you rightly expect them to service the whole car not just the radiator or air-con, so why should such transport critical systems be any different?

You have to be sure that the organisation you are trusting for a three, five or even 10 year period have your best interests at heart and will manage your assets and network effectively.

What do you think? If you would like to discuss this further with us, please get in touch here.

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