Performance Evaluation of Different Detection Technologies for Signalized Intersections in Minnesota

In all versions of actuated control, the cornerstone of the system is vehicle detection. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and many local MN agencies have traditionally used embedded loop detectors in the pavement for detecting vehicles. Although the performance of a well-placed loop detector has yet to be matched by any other method, changes in the vehicle fleet (higher use of non-ferrous material) as well as increased need for more comprehensive detection (vulnerable road users, all lanes individual advance and stop line detection) has resulted in the increased use of Non-Intrusive detection Technologies (NIT). Testing of these newer technologies on MN intersections has not been conducted in a comprehensive way. Studies evaluating the performance of NIT detection have been racing against obsolescence given the rapid development in the market. Regardless, several have identified the general pros and cons and have established some baseline comparisons. Unfortunately, there has been very few studies identifying the true costs of operating and maintaining such intersection control systems. This proposal aims in providing guidance on selecting the most appropriate technology for a given location as well as on the expertise, effort, and material cost involved in maintaining each of these systems year round in Minnesota. The project guidance will be organized on a decision tool to guide signal design by MnDOT and other public works entities in Minnesota.