SEH won the 2011 Best New Innovative Product Application Award as part of the National Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems (NRITS) Best of Rural ITS Awards.
SEH won the award for its work on an intersection warning system (IWS) that uses radar to sense the approach and speed of vehicles to an intersection. A central sign/LED yellow flasher warning device at the intersection provides notification to the vehicle driver who is approaching on the side road, as well as to the vehicle driver on the main road who is approaching the stop sign.
“A number of state DOTs, as well as counties and smaller cities around the country, are looking for such a system that they can use to reduce the number and, potentially, the severity of rural intersection crashes,” SEH Traffic Manager Tom Sohrweide said.
The IWS was designed to use solar/battery power with a battery that has a typical minimum useful life of five to seven years. All other system components included in the design are solid state and have much longer service life.
“Because there are literally thousands of low-volume, non-signalized, rural intersections across the country, there is a need for a relatively low-cost solution that incorporates solid state, off-the-shelf technologies to quickly deploy an intersection warning system,” Sohrweide said.
SEH teamed with NTT on the project and, since 2008, the warning systems have been deployed at five intersections including CR 47 and Lawndale Avenue in Hennepin County; the CSAH 42/CSAH 17 intersection in Scott County; and at three intersections in Wright County at CSAH 6/CSAH 35, CSAH 8/CSAH 35, and CSAH 9/CR 107. As a result of the IWS deployments, vehicle conflicts and crash rates have improved significantly at each of the intersections.