Wireless Traffic Lights

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Group Design Project
Design of a fully wireless traffic light controlled road junction
Group Members
Jianbin Chen, Jelmer van den Dries, Dominic Holden, Will Hucker, Andrew Line, Tristan Neumann, Jason Norman, Foo Tze Hung

Dr Ben Waterson, Dr Tom Cherrett


Installation, repair, and maintenance of a traffic light controlled road junction is both costly in time and material to the responsible authority and causes congestion for road users as a significant amount of system infrastructure is currently located underground. This project aimed to produce an entirely wireless traffic light controlled junction, with no power or communication cables under the road surface. Additionally a traffic sensor system was implemented, so that the junction could make use of reactive traffic control algorithms that will vary the duration and frequency of light signals shown around a junction in response to live traffic conditions on the road.

The project can be broken down into three major elements: power, communications, and sensing. Each required an extensive review process and an understanding of how they impact upon one another. Reliability and robustness were the driving design considerations to produce a safe and effective wireless traffic management system.
To demonstrate several of the key findings and conclusions of the project, two technical demonstrators were produced. One, a wireless traffic light assembly, featuring a self contained power source and wireless communication to a remote sensor module. The second is an add-on to the University of Southampton transport research group’s scalextric test track, able to demonstrate the three central elements of the project at scale and in an interactive manner - both the interactions within the system and between the system and a road user.

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