iCone wins SafeTrip-21 approval
A ‘smart’ road cone that monitors traffic and relays the data wirelessly has been approved for inclusion in the SafeTrip-21 ITS program run by the US DOT’s RITA. The iCone looks like a normal traffic barrel, but contains a suite of devices to provide information about its immediate environment to remote users.
Within the orange and white striped barrel is a GPS unit, vehicle speed measurer, vehicle counter and road temperature sensors. The data are transmitted by GPRS or, when a regular signal is not available, by an Iridium satellite link. The battery unit can power the devices for up to 17 days and the recharge socket on the side of the iCone is one of the few elements that distinguishes it from ordinary, dumb barrels.
“It’s good for monitoring vehicle speed in work zones,” says Lee Maynus, senior engineer at the Cato, New York, company. All data are viewable by users through the web, an example of which can be seen here – www.iconetraffic.com.
Left: iCone looks like a normal traffic barrel
Maynus says that users needn’t worry about the high-tech equipped barrels being stolen. “A guy tried to make off with one last month, but he didn’t know that it includes an accelerometer,” Maynus told this website at the ITS World Congress. “As soon as it detects movement it increases the frequency of location transmission so we could follow it, all the way. We even saw that he stopped by a market on his way. Then we gave the information to the police department and within 12 hours we had our barrel back and the thief was charged.”
20 November 2008