Bluetooth can help local traffic flow

first_img If you want to improve your travel time along some of Clark County’s busier roads, turn your Bluetooth device to “discoverable” mode.Clark County traffic engineers — along with engineers from the state of Washington and the city of Vancouver — have in place a system that can detect Bluetooth devices in discoverable mode.The program is being funded primarily through a $540,000 federal grant, with a small match from the local governments.And with some 900 vehicles traveling through the Andresen corridor during peak travel times, even a small sampling is enough to give information on how quickly cars are moving along the roadways.“Right now, we are seeing between 3 and 5 percent of traffic broadcasting in discoverable mode,” said Rob Klug, traffic signal operations and engineering lead at Clark County. “From that, we can track MAC addresses and … get a timestamp of when cars enter and exit the area we are scanning. From there, the next step, we can make traffic signal settings based on (the information).”Klug explained the process from an interior office at the Clark County Public Service Center. Large computer screens blink out traffic data and display live footage from intersection cameras. When something traffic-related in Clark County breaks, this office is where it starts to get fixed. At times, Klug will run signals manually from his computer to unclog congested areas.He receives immediate reports from an automated system when cars start to back up beyond expectations.Klug can talk at length about traffic philosophy and methodology, and he can recommend a few books to read if you’re really interested in how traffic systems have evolved over the years. Click to enlargelast_img

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