Smart Traffic Cones

How IoT Can Save Lives

Industry: Road Construction

Challenge: To reduce the number of deaths and injuries of road crews due to traffic accidents

Solution: Intellicone has been designed to suit large, complex work sites where there may be multiple safety perimeters, access points and work crews. Alarms will sound when a cone has been struck to alert workers to move to a safe location.

Technology: VisionIoT’s remote device management solution uses TR-06 protocol to monitor and report status of the cones as well as view and manage the deployments on a map.

Cost: Can you put a price on a human life?

Background: It might surprise people how many construction workers are killed and injured every day on Europe’s roads. This often occurs where a vehicle, travelling at speed, violates the safety areas by driving through the cones that exist to separate the traffic from the workers. Often the consequences are severe - a construction site is a noisy environment, with heavy machinery in use, and often the worker may be unaware of a zone intrusion before it is too late.

Who makes it and who uses it?

New Wave Innovation developed the Intellicone to help combat this problem. Intellicone is a highly modular system that has been designed to fit seamlessly within existing operations and equipment. Our customers use it for a wide range of applications including road closures, lane closures, tapers,gates, safe working areas, slip road closures, lane change over, contra flow.

Who is paying for it?

The development of the Intellicone, together with the VisionIoT integration, was funded by the European Union, and brought together several partners: New Wave, Highway Resource Solutions (a company set up by New Wave to market the solution), Philips, Eldes, and Colas - a prime contractor for highways maintenance in the UK.

What are the main system components?

There are several components involved with the Intellicone:

  • Motion sensors located on the traffic cones
  • Master Units that communicate with the cones and signal alerts
  • Web portal that tracks deployments and offers management real-time data
  • VisionIoT solution which allows communication between devices

How does it work?

Intellicone consists of an audio-visual Portable Site Alarm (crew alarm) and wireless impact sensors that are integrated within conventional cone lamps. (These amber lamps are deployed on top of the cones that contain sensors to detect whether the cone is moved or struck.) Each lamp links to the others at the site via a built-in mesh network. At appropriate positions a master alarm unit is stationed, and if a cone alarm is triggered, then the master unit gives out both audio and visual alerts to nearby workers.

The data from the master units is sent to the VisionIoT solution, which enables the highway’s contractor to monitor the status of the cones, together with viewing the deployments on a map.

The Intellicone webportal logs the status of web enabled Intellicone Portable Site Alarms (Y-Series) and Traffic Management Units. This includes on/off, deploy, alarm, GPS location and the unique site identifier used. A Google Map Interface shows the current status on a geographical map. By logging this data the portal enables both dynamic remote monitoring as well automatic reporting by date, site reference, serial number, status and location. Hence, it is possible to obtain an accurate time and location stamp for an incident.

Not only does the system provide a simple way to deploy an electronic safety perimeter, it also records its status with time and location stamp and uploads this onto the Intellicone web portal. This portal is available to customers and enables tracking of Intellicone safe working areas.

This means that near misses can be investigated in more detail. It also means that site supervisors and the back office can be notified automatically when a crew arrives at site (when unit is turned on).

As a byproduct, it also provides useful information regarding the dates and times that cones are deployed and removed, and this helps greatly with funding claims that the contractor might make with the Highways Agency.

Benefits and Results

  • Improve ability of workforce to avoid harm
  • Reduce injuries and fatalities
  • Improve accuracy of reporting and near miss identification
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