Radar Along The Freeway

Did you ever wonder what those solar powered cylinder things are that you see attached to the light poles along the freeways?  Well, wonder no more.  What you are looking at is the DVSS-100 Doppler Vehicle Speed Sensor

Speedinfo_3 A San Jose, California  based company, SpeedInfo, developed this little gadget that can be mounted on most any post along the freeway and uses the doppler effect to measure traffic speed with an accuracy of plus or minus 1 mile per hour.  It has a range of up to 1800 feet and sends real time traffic information via a full duplex cell phone connection. SpeedInfo literature states the DVS-100 has an impressive MTBF of over 60,000 hours. But if something should go wrong, there are on-board diagnostics, self-tests, and software updates can be sent to the devices via the cell phone connection.

These things have been appearing all along California’s freeways in the past year or so. One of the things that may have helped speed this up is that James W. van Loben Sels was elected to SpeedInfo’s board of directors in August of 2006.  Besides being a retired U.S. Army Major General, van Loben Sels was the Director of the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) from 1991 to 1998, a position that would come in very handy for a company that wants to put traffic speed sensors along California’s freeways.

So, the next time you look up and see a DVSS-100 Doppler Vehicle Speed Sensor, you can feel good about yourself, California, SpeedInfo, and James W. van Loven Sels.

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