Dim traffic sensors dull how 'smart' freeways are

November 23, 2013 by Justin Pritchard

California's freeways aren't as smart as they used to be.

Buried under thousands of miles of pavement are 27,000 traffic sensors that are supposed to help troubleshoot both daily commutes and long-term maintenance needs on some of the nation's most heavily used .

And about 9,000 of them do not work.

The sensors are a key part of the "" system designed, for example, to detect congestion that quickly builds before crews can clear an accident.

Blame the malfunctions on old equipment, construction and even copper wire theft.

California is not alone—states including Utah, Texas and Michigan have struggled with sensors, too.

Explore further: Using wireless sensors to monitor bridge safety

Related Stories

Using wireless sensors to monitor bridge safety

February 23, 2009

University of Texas (UT) professor, Dean Neikirk, will be field-testing a new bridge monitoring system within the year. The project is a collaboration between industry, government, and academia that will provide real-time ...

IBM looks to take pain out of parking

September 28, 2011

US technology stalwart IBM and Internet startup Streetline on Wednesday will begin courting cities with a system designed to take the pain out of parking.

Audi plans next-level tech for smarter driving

April 19, 2013

(Phys.org) —Audi, along with several U.S. universities, has been studying what contributes to road accidents, what can avert accidents, and the right technology systems that can keep drivers on track. According to reports, ...

The end of traffic jams? Dutch test new system

November 6, 2013

Researchers in the Netherlands will next year test a GPS navigation system aimed at preventing the international curse of motorway traffic jams by telling drivers which lane to move to.

Recommended for you

Software turns smartphones into tools for medical research

July 27, 2015

Jody Kearns doesn't like to spend time obsessing about her Parkinson's disease. The 56-year-old dietitian from Syracuse, New York, had to give up bicycling because the disorder affected her balance. But she still works, drives ...

Where is solar power headed?

July 22, 2015

Most experts agree that to have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.