Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio believe they have found a low-cost solution to improving safety when driving rural roads at night.
The Rural Area Vehicle Detection, as it is called, is a solar-powered warning system that alerts drivers to an upcoming stop sign, reports UTSA Today. The system’s thermal-energy technology detects vehicles nearing the intersection by the vehicle’s energy and then sets off a flashing light above the sign. It can also detect the vehicle’s speed, direction and classification.
The system has a vehicle detection rate of 90 percent and a vehicle classification rate of 72 percent, according to UTSA. Along with being more accurate, researchers say that at $60 to $100 per unit, the system costs less than other traffic sensing technologies, such as magnetic loop inductors, video image processors and microwave radar.
The system was developed by UTSA College of Engineering professors Sara Ahmed and Samer Dessouky.
Plans are to also use the system for pedestrian detection, border security and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, according to UTSA.