Motorists may notice the 12 participants of the University of Idaho’s Traffic Signal Summer Workshop at a Moscow intersection next week, testing their skills at engineering and designing traffic signal control systems.
The sixth annual workshop Aug. 7-12 is a hands-on opportunity for students and professionals from across the U.S. to learn how traffic signals systems work, and familiarize themselves with the hardware and software involved.
Participants will prepare a signal design at the intersection of U.S. 95, Lauder and Styner streets in Moscow Aug. 8, then return to the lab for applied research in signal timing, traffic controller operations, video detection and hardware-in-the-loop simulation.
“Three quarters of nearly 300,000 traffic signals across the U.S. need re-timing, and some busy intersections carry more than 100,000 vehicles per day,” said Michael Kyte, director of UI’s National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. “As simple as they seem, traffic signals can throw an unexpected kink in our lives if designed incorrectly.”
“We started this workshop to give students an opportunity to learn how real traffic signal systems work. Much of engineering education today is lecture-based. We’ve designed this program to allow participants to learn by working through real problems,” said Kyte.
Social activities for summer workshop participants include an introductory barbecue, a pizza and star-gazing party at Big Meadow Creek Alpacas in Troy and a final banquet.
NIATT, one of 26 university-based centers of excellence established by U.S. Department of Transportation, advances technology and expertise in the many transportation disciplines through education, research and technology transfer. Sixty students from more than 25 universities from around the U.S. have participated in the UI traffic signal workshops since 2000.