York to introduce thermal technology to detect cyclists at junctions
‘Pioneering’ thermal imaging technology is set to be introduced on key cycle routes in York in a bid to reduce the time spent at traffic signals, improve journey reliability and cyclists’ safety.
City of York will become one of the first councils in the country to start using the new technology which can accurately detect cyclists at signals by their ‘heat signature’, allowing the signals to react accordingly and be adjusted to give more ‘green time’ for cyclists.
The authority will roll out the new ‘Thermicam’ technology from May 2016 at junctions with high levels of cycle use.
First introduced by TfL last year for use on its cycle superhighway network, the equipment will replace approximately half of York’s 122 traffic signals and 54 pedestrian crossings over a five-year rolling programme.
ThermiCam, described as the ‘world's first intelligent thermal traffic sensor’, can be used to control traffic lights by detecting vehicles and bicycles at and nearby the stop bar.
The sensor transmits information to the traffic light controller which allows a ‘more dynamic control of traffic lights’ - in turn leading to reduced vehicle idling time, improved traffic flow and improved safety and mobility for cyclists.
The scheme is part of a multi million pound overhaul of York’s traffic signals – the largest scheme the city has seen in more than 20 years.
Councillor Ian Gillies, City of York Council, said: “Investing now will help bring our systems into the 21st Century, saving vital time spent otherwise on repairs and maintenance and more importantly saving money from the public purse.
“Investing in this cutting-edge equipment will help to keep York’s roads moving, improving journey reliability and the overall driving and commuter experience for future years.”