(An invention from Stittsville’s SmartCone Technologies is being deployed as part of a pilot project on O’Connor street in downtown Ottawa. Here’s a press release from Ottawa Police Services about the project.)
Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service have launched a new cyclist detection system on the O’Connor bike lanes at the corner of Waverley.
Safer Roads Ottawa engaged with SmartCone Technologies Incorporated, a local start-up company in Stittsville, to implement their innovative prototype sensor technology on O’Connor Street.
“Using an innovative approach, Safer Roads Ottawa and SmartCone customized and tested the prototype which involves using cameras, motion detectors, and programmable LED lighting,” said Rob Wilkinson, Coordinator of Safer Roads Ottawa.
How it works:
- The cameras capture the motion of the cyclists approaching the intersection
- The information is sent to a computer stored in a protected casing on each hydro pole
- The computer then sends a radio signal to each of the LED lights
- LED lights flash as an alert to motorists.
The goal is for the SmartCone system to accurately detect cyclists approaching the un-signalized intersection of Waverley and O’Connor and to trigger a series of nine individual LED lights located on both sides of the intersection. This makes the bike lanes safer for cyclists and warns motorists that cyclists are approaching.
The system provides an additional level of warning to drivers turning left from O’Connor onto Waverley or who were proceeding from the west side of Waverley across O’Connor.
“It is important to remember that both drivers and cyclists should be approaching all intersections with caution and ensure that they undertake the appropriate safety steps which include shoulder checks up and down the bike lanes, reducing their speed and cycling defensively,” said Sgt. Mark Gatien.
An education video on the initiative is available on the Ottawa Police Service YouTube channel.
The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.