Bartco’s new Queue Detect system provides advanced congestion warnings


The UK’s only manufacturer of mobile, solar powered monitoring and visual information systems, Bartco UK, has launched a new radar-based signage system to give drivers advanced warning of problems on the road ahead.

According to a recent report from Inrix, the UK is the third worst congested country in Europe behind Russia and Turkey, and its road users are spending on average 32 hours a year in traffic jams. Congestion is costing £968 (US$1,252) per person annually, while also damaging the environment and the country’s economy in the process. Against a backdrop of conditions that promote road travel, national and local traffic managers are working harder than ever to find ways to manage the country’s road network more effectively. Bartco UK says its pioneering new Queue Detect system could prove to be a useful weapon in their armory, helping ease congestion at roadwork, bottlenecks, and regular rush-hour choke-point locations.

The Queue Detect system helps traffic managers identify slow moving traffic, and keeps road users up-to-date with the changing traffic situation. The system uses state-of-the-art frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar, operating at 15MHz, to detect traffic moving below a predetermined speed threshold. It then notifies a central server using the GPRS network and activates the display of information to approaching road users via single or multiple variable messaging signs (VMS). The message is cleared once traffic returns to the desired speed. The speed at which the traffic triggers the message can be set remotely, as can the speed at which the message is cleared.

Giving road users advanced warning of delays empowers them to make informed decisions, such as slowing down in advance of a hazard, taking an alternative route to avoid congestion, or stopping for a break. The innovative, flexible system can either be mounted on either VMS, a Solar Intelligent Platform trailer, or for long-term deployment it can be mounted on an existing roadside column, along with a small solar panel and battery. The product can be used in conjunction with Bartco’s VMS-A and VMS-C color signage systems. Queue Detect features:

• Low power unit for solar applications – typically <25mA;

• 6V DC to 16V DC power supply;

• Compact unit for ease of installation;

• User adjustable parameters for optimum detection via Quad-band GPRS connection;

• Range sensitivity adjustment;

• Speed output in km/h or mph;

• Remote firmware updates;

• Direction and low temperature alerts; and

• Password protected interface.

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).