Application of Plug-and-Play Distributed Signal Technology to Traffic Signals
Modern signalized intersections require the installation of several hundred dedicated conductors to each traffic signal head, pedestrian indication, pedestrian button, loop detector, and other auxiliary devices. No intelligence is distributed outside of the signal cabinet. A demonstration system was built to explore the applicability of plug-and-play distributed sensor technology to traffic signals. This technology, using the IEEE1451 standard, would facilitate the deployment of intelligent traffic signal infrastructure. This paper discusses an open architecture prototype based on 10baseT Ethernet communications connecting a simulated traffic controller to four nodes consisting of a single traffic signal and eight countdown pedestrian signals. Included electronic data sheets describe signals and sensors that adhere to the IEEE 1451 standard and demonstrate the plug and play capability. A laptop PC simulates a simple semi-actuated traffic controller algorithm and provides network diagnostics. Areas for further research are identified.