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HDOT Installs Connected Vehicle Sensors in East Hawai‘i

November 1, 2020, 2:51 PM HST
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The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced it has synced several traffic signals in East Hawai‘i to operate more efficiently.

Blyncsy Intersect Connected Vehicle units will be installed at 16 state-owned traffic signals in the region, in cooperation with Elemental Excelerator. These connected vehicle sensors calculate travel times between units by anonymously collecting data from Bluetooth-enabled devices in passing vehicles. HDOT and the County of Hawai‘i will use data from the units to optimize traffic signal timing.

Hawaii Island drivers can access this traffic data for the following East Hawai‘i corridors here.

  • Route 11, Hawai‘i Belt Road – Between Route 19 (Kamehameha Avenue) and Hunia Road
  • Route 130, Kea‘au-Pahoa Road – Between Milo Street and Shower Drive

Installation of connected vehicle sensors on the remaining 14 state-owned traffic signals in West Hawai‘i is anticipated to be complete in late November. The total cost for the installations is $57,700.

Data from the connected vehicle sensors is similar to traffic information currently available from navigation apps like Google and Apple Maps but is more accurate as it captures data from units installed directly on traffic signals, according to a release from HDOT.

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The dashboard also allows users to view information such as speeds along the corridor and current delays. Percentage of Typical is the default layer as it compares current travel time to historical travel time for the same hour of the day. This helps users understand the difference between current conditions and typical traffic.

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Blyncsy was chosen by Elemental Excelerator, a Hawai‘i-based startup accelerator, to help transportation agencies solve traffic issues using big data and anonymized location analytics.

Bluetooth data from the Blyncsy sensors is anonymized through a process where the data is encrypted and randomly assigned unique IDs that aren’t connected to any personal information, the HDOT release said.

HDOT anticipates the data available through the connected vehicle sensors will make corridor management more efficient by providing real-time information that was previously only available through timed drives through subject corridors.

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The installation of the Blyncsy Intersect Connected Vehicle units is the first step in preparing Big Island roads for connected autonomous vehicles. Units are currently broadcasting travel times between sensors to vehicles enabled to receive DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications).

The locations of the installed and planned sensors can be viewed at the following links:

  • Installed East Hawai‘i units here.
  • Planned West Hawai‘i units here.

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