What new technologies are coming our way?

The next evolution in traffic signals is adaptive signal control technology, which is a system of coordinated signals that communicate with each other and vary signal timing, cycle lengths, and other parameters by real-time traffic volumes instead of the conventional time of day plans. This will allow greater efficiency by responding to actual demand, rather than predicted demand. It may benefit pedestrians as well as drivers by serving them sooner, especially when the main street traffic is low.

The City of Missoula and other Montana communities are working with the Montana Dept. of Transportation to identify corridors that may benefit from adaptive signal control and to put together projects to build these systems. Much of the technology needed for this is already in place, but additional equipment and many more traffic detection devices would be required.

Show All Answers

1. How do traffic signals work?
2. How does a traffic signal sense cars?
3. Why do some lights stay green when there are no cars present?
4. How does an emergency vehicle, such as a fire truck or ambulance, change the signal to give them a green light in the direction they are traveling?
5. Can I make a light change to green by flashing my headlights?
6. What happens when a train approaches a traffic signal near a railroad crossing?
7. How are traffic signals coordinated in a system?
8. How do pedestrian buttons and walk signals work?
9. Why do I need to push a button to get a walk light?
10. What new technologies are coming our way?