PnP traffic signals have been developed and tested in the engineering laboratories over the past two years. Feedback from traffic controller designers and individuals of diverse responsibility in FHWA affirm that existing traffic controller technology is not capable of meeting requirement of ITS initiatives. Having seen the results of our preliminary research, it is generally agreed that a distributed control approach is necessary to achieve the required flexibility and information bandwidth.
Field trials are now necessary to make this technology ready for integration into existing traffic controls. We have chosen to focus on APS for this pilot field demonstration for two reasons. The current countdown pedestrian signal is flawed and presents incorrect data whenever signal timing changes. Secondly, a "smart" pedestrian signal has the potential to make significant advances in safety and accessibility for handicap.
This project requires multiple academic disciplines and will require the support and cooperation of university, state, and federal agencies as well as strong ties with traffic controller manufacturers to achieve the goals over a two year time period. The proposed work will be done in four phases. Activities for the first year involve engineering development, fabrication and validation planning. During the second year, the equipment will be deployed in the field, integrated into an existing traffic controller, tested, and evaluated. It will require graduate students from ECE and Civil Engineering. Some of the design work will involve undergraduate electrical and computer engineering students working on senior design projects.