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#1 Tuesday 6th August 2013 11:08:25

Lady-Hynarc
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Registered: Monday 9th April 2012
Posts: 650

Technology - are we making the most of it?

It seems to me that the authorities do not make the most of technology in respect of the roads.  Whilst vehicles now use smart technology such as parking sensors, eco features, smart windscreen wipers, hill assist as well as many others, the roads seem to use 'old' technology.  Traffic lights for example.  Rather than detecting road traffic and changing based on need instead they use a clockwork timer - okay I may be exaggerating but you get the idea.  Puffin crossings are intelligent but authorities would rather use ones that aren't. 

In my local area there is a short section of road with about 8 sets of lights.  Now I have been told by the council that the lights are synchronised so that if you cop a green one at the beginning, they'll all be green.  The problem is that one set is a pelican which responds to the pedestrians and halts the flow of traffic.  The traffic jams haven't really eased down that piece of road because of the pelican lights.  It also assumes that all traffic travels at the same speed which of course it doesn't.  This setup has been there for a couple of years and they had to rip up the road to do it but surely the technology to do this synchronisation has been around much longer.  Furthermore, with the proliferation of wireless communications, wouldn't it be possible to do this via some sort of mobile system?  We have light controlled bus lanes where the exit of the bus into traffic is faciliatated by traffic lights.  So why do these lights change when there is nothing in the bus lane?  Surely the technology exists to make this seamless?  These bus lane lights are just before some regular lights.  So if the bus lane lights are green and the main lights are red, the bus can't get out...  Surely the technology exists to ensure that the progress of the bus is unimpeded?

Why do those illuminated signs outside schools light up in the summer holidays?  Surely they could be seasonal?  I know we now get these speed limit signs which illuminate if your speed is excessive but there seem to be too few of them...  Some light up even if you are well within the limit!

Street lights that are on all the time...couldn't they be triggered?

I'm not a technologist although I did work in IT for a long time but I'm sure we should be further on than we are.  I'm sure there are lots of other examples...

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Tuesday 6th August 2013 11:08:25

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Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?



#2 Tuesday 6th August 2013 11:47:46

Zipper
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From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,711
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Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Are UK lights "on demand" like some of ours, e.g. vehicles approaching on a minor road run over a sensor strip to "trigger" the light?


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#3 Tuesday 6th August 2013 13:55:09

ralge
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From: Sheffield
Registered: Thursday 11th January 2007
Posts: 320

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Zipper wrote:

Are UK lights "on demand" like some of ours, e.g. vehicles approaching on a minor road run over a sensor strip to "trigger" the light?

Some/many of ours are triggered indeed by buried loops but they are quite fragile and/or old so many around me haven't worked as they should for a while - but, with the current PFI spend on roads in Sheffield, many of these will be renewed.  Interesting times ahead!
Street lights are also being installed in Sheffield over the next 4.5 years.  They will be L.E.D's and controlled centrally so they will be dimmed in the small hours.
Around here, whenever a set of pedestrian lights are maintained or re-done, I-red sensors are installed so pelicans are on their way out.

Last edited by ralge (Tuesday 6th August 2013 17:22:28)


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#4 Tuesday 6th August 2013 16:55:49

pegasus
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From: north west
Registered: Friday 25th February 2005
Posts: 3,320

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Hi
Lights are normally triggered by a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) loop, but they have a backup timer system so that there is a max period Green/Red, this is to  make allowances for faults and/or non-registering vehicles.
ie small amount of metal construction might not register.

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#5 Tuesday 6th August 2013 22:09:39

Zipper
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From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,711
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Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

When I first came to Darwin in the 90's I rode a 250cc motorbike around. I soon learned which traffic lights weren't sensitive enough to be triggered by smallish motorbikes. When I got my Moto Guzzi California the problem disappeared. I haven't ridden for a while but apparently the lights have improved.

One difference I've noted between the UK & here is the light sequence - ours go directly from red to green with no intervening amber (am I correct in thinking UK lights go red-amber-green?).

Although technology improves with time, the intelligence of Darwin's council workers seem to be stuck at a low level. Mismatched signs & road markings abound. And the placement of speed limit signs doesn't indicate any logic was involved in deciding their location either. E.g. in the fair city of Palmerston (breeding ground of the Australian Bogan), speed limit signs are like the public buses: you don't see any for ages then suddenly several appear at once. Usually at the end of the road.


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I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
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#6 Tuesday 6th August 2013 23:01:53

ralge
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From: Sheffield
Registered: Thursday 11th January 2007
Posts: 320

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Zipper wrote:

When I first came to Darwin in the 90's I rode a 250cc motorbike around. I soon learned which traffic lights weren't sensitive enough to be triggered by smallish motorbikes. When I got my Moto Guzzi California the problem disappeared. I haven't ridden for a while but apparently the lights have improved.

One difference I've noted between the UK & here is the light sequence - ours go directly from red to green with no intervening amber (am I correct in thinking UK lights go red-amber-green?).

Although technology improves with time, the intelligence of Darwin's council workers seem to be stuck at a low level. Mismatched signs & road markings abound. And the placement of speed limit signs doesn't indicate any logic was involved in deciding their location either. E.g. in the fair city of Palmerston (breeding ground of the Australian Bogan), speed limit signs are like the public buses: you don't see any for ages then suddenly several appear at once. Usually at the end of the road.

Our light sequence normally is red - red and amber - green - amber - red except for button-operated, traffic-light-controlled pelican (pedestrian) crossings which have a flashing amber as part of the sequence instead of red and amber together.

Read more about this and much more at https://www.gov.uk/highway-code !!

Last edited by ralge (Tuesday 6th August 2013 23:02:43)


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#7 Tuesday 6th August 2013 23:44:00

la.monikita
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From: SE LONDON / KENT
Registered: Saturday 12th March 2005
Posts: 3,064

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Lady-Hynarc, I used have a house on Rock Ave that we had bought for renovation. I used the hate all the lights in Rochester, Gillingham and Chatham - constant start and stop. I would put RA's without any lights where feasible.  In my part of SE London, we have lights triggered by microwave sensors (little black boxes that sit on the top of the traffic lights). I had a pupil who got so good at coming up slowly to trip the lights, she always had a green. There are many right turn filters that won't come on if sensor, either the microwave on the top of the light or the electromagnetic one in the ground, does not detect the vehicles or the correct number of vehicles for the filter to be triggered. Not all the lights are like that. I think at night the should turn them off to flash a warning amber, so everyone sees the junction but slows down to check for oncoming vehicles, giving way if and when necessary, instead of sitting on red with no one around.


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#8 Wednesday 7th August 2013 00:11:39

Zipper
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From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,711
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Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

ralge wrote:

... Read more about this and much more at https://www.gov.uk/highway-code !!

Ralge, by any chance were you in advertising in your previous life?


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
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#9 Wednesday 7th August 2013 00:17:10

Zipper
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From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,711
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Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Getting back to the original topic ... I'm an ex communications technician and have studied computer programming. Frankly I don't trust anything that uses a programmed processor to operate. Poorly designed programs & hardware, program bugs and hardware glitches have caused many problems, even injury & death.


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#10 Wednesday 7th August 2013 00:34:54

ralge
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From: Sheffield
Registered: Thursday 11th January 2007
Posts: 320

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Zipper wrote:
ralge wrote:

... Read more about this and much more at https://www.gov.uk/highway-code !!

Ralge, by any chance were you in advertising in your previous life?

Nah.  Modern languages and home and export industrial sales (nowadays called B2B). Why do you ask?  Do advertising exec's set out to be helpful?


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#11 Wednesday 7th August 2013 07:03:43

Zipper
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From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,711
Website

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

It was the "and much more" phrase. Reminds me of those TV ads where for a small pittance you get "this AND that AND something else and wait, there's more, much more etc etc".


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#12 Wednesday 7th August 2013 08:14:50

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: Thursday 11th January 2007
Posts: 320

Re: Technology - are we making the most of it?

Zipper wrote:

It was the "and much more" phrase. Reminds me of those TV ads where for a small pittance you get "this AND that AND something else and wait, there's more, much more etc etc".

Ah, I see!  I should have put a "lol" or a smiley after that, then, to convey a mock advertising voice.


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