New smartphone app provides bicycle detection at signalized intersections in California city

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The City of Santa Clarita in California, in partnership with traffic technology developer Sensys Networks Inc., has launched ‘GiveMeGreen!’, an innovative new smartphone application for bicycle detection at signalized intersections.

GiveMeGreen! is the first of many connected and autonomous traveler apps being developed by Sensys Networks, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated wireless traffic data systems for smart cities.

This initial deployment is a pilot program to improve safety for cyclists and travel convenience for all motorists in Santa Clarita. The initial pilot is deployed at three intersections along the city’s Chuck Pontius Commuter Rail bike trail, parallel to Soledad Canyon Road.

The system consists of the GiveMeGreen! smartphone app which allows the bicyclist using the app to be automatically detected up to 300ft (91m) in advance of the intersection. Once detected, the signal applies the normal pedestrian-crossing signal timing function. This will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to use the same signal phase and will not cause any delay for motorists.

There are also new signs that illuminate only when bicyclists or pedestrians are detected to warn turning motorists on Soledad Canyon Road that bicycles or pedestrians will be crossing the intersection. Finally, the system includes a bicycle-only light at each intersection along the bike trail which confirms to the bicyclist that they have been detected.

This pilot system demonstrates the flexibility of the Sensys Networks platform, as it integrates with third-party signs and city traffic controllers. Santa Clarita is a longstanding Sensy Networks customer, with the company’s VDS240 wireless in-ground vehicle detection sensors deployed along the city’s major arterial routes, providing traffic and incident data to help engineers better optimize and manage signal timings.

“We are delighted to be working with the City of Santa Clarita on this pilot program,” said Amine Haoui, CEO of Sensys Networks. “GiveMeGreen! is the first of many connected traveler apps to be released by us in the coming months. These apps all use the same infrastructure at the intersection, and allow cities to easily tailor the services they want to provide for bicyclists, pedestrians, truck drivers, and many other travelers.

“This infrastructure-to-everything (I2X) system for connected and autonomous travelers will improve safety, decrease congestion, and improve the travel experience for many different types of connected traveler.”

Cesar Romo, traffic signal system administrator for the City of Santa Clarita, commented, “This free app will greatly benefit both bicyclists and motorists by providing better information about the presence of bikes at these intersections. GiveMeGreen! not only improves safety, but also improves the ride experience for Santa Clarita’s legions of cyclists with automatic and reliable advance detection.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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