LightGuard Systems Inc., a manufacturer, distributor and developer of traffic control and pedestrian/motorist warning devices has been awarded a US Patent for its new HeadsUp! smartphone application, which uses Bluetooth to deliver roadway safety alerts.
Based in California’s North Bay Area, LightGuard is best known for its world-renowned Smart Crosswalk in-roadway warning light system. HeadsUp! is a mobile traffic safety warning smartphone app for use at crosswalks, school zones, workzones and on school buses and emergency vehicles, such as highway patrol units, that are stopped along the roadway, and many other applications. The HeadsUp! system sends alerts via a beacon that transmits a BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signal to the app in advance of pedestrian activity, roadway hazards or any other potentially dangerous changes in traffic conditions.
The BTLE beacon integrates with the company’s lighted crosswalks and can be installed at intersections, crosswalks, railroad crossings, low-height bridges, on school buses and work zone trucks, or worn on the body by a cyclist, jogger or construction worker, for example. The HeadsUp! app sends alerts in advance of manual or on-demand events, such as a pedestrian activating a lighted crosswalk, and has a broad range of traffic safety applications, including roadway hazards, emergency vehicle, or other changes in traffic conditions. Manual or on-demand events, such as a pedestrian activating a lighted crosswalk, trigger the beacon to communicate with the app via BTLE short-range communication. Motorists receive instant alerts, such as the presence of a pedestrian in an approaching crosswalk, via Apple or Android mobile devices.
The BTLE beacon can be installed on many items of roadside infrastructure or vehicles to offer I2V (infrastructure-to-vehicle) warnings without the need for cellular network connectivity or RFID communications. The HeadsUp! system can substitute for some CVI (Connected Vehicle Interface) functions, while offering a more easily deployable, and less expensive, option. Unlike CVI, its alerting system does not rely on line of sight. HeadsUp! also offers more timely alerts by broadcasting direct to a cell phone, bypassing multiple communication layers such as those CVI uses. The BTLE beacons could be integrated with LightGuard’s portfolio of lighted warning systems for crosswalks, railroad crossings, or school and workzones, where the HeadsUp! App would augment flashing LED alerts.
“Smart cities, schools and the autonomous vehicle industry need a scalable way to tackle pedestrian and traffic safety,” said LightGuard’s president, Michael Harrison. “We believe that we have the solution and are excited to begin field testing.”