Bluetooth-detecting traffic devices to be tested in Lake Mary

By Jeff Allen, Seminole County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, August 07, 2017, 7:16 PM EDT

Some rectangular-shaped devices recently popped up on Lake Mary Boulevard at the entrance to Seminole State College.

  • Devices designed to track traffic efficiencies 
  • Sanford-based Blue-Band designed the devices
  • FDOT will first test them near Lake Mary Boulevard

The Florida Department of Transportation will be testing the wireless devices for possible use in making traffic improvements throughout the state.

Carlo Adair said he's always dreamed of ways to advance technology.

"I grew up on the Jetsons thinking there would be some really cool things coming in our future — and there are," said Adair, who is the lead engineer for Blue-Band, LLC.

Adair and Blue-Band CEO Kevin Yorke designed the new traffic devices at their Sanford-based office. The Florida Department of Transportation is now going to test them at the busy Lake Mary intersection.

"It's a large intersection with a lot of traffic," Yorke said.

FDOT could eventually use them to collect traffic data all over the state.

"It's definitely very exciting," Adair said.

The devices can even detect a car's Bluetooth as it drives over them and then use that signal to track how long it takes for that car to get to the next intersection.

"We know no particulars about the vehicle or who has the Bluetooth, we just assign a number for one location to the next," Yorke said.

Spotlight synchronization, traffic flow and traffic volume is already measured by different devices in operation throughout Central Florida. But the wireless detectors don't require wires or pipes to install them, making them cheaper. They also report data in real-time.

Adair hopes it's just the beginning of a more advanced way to help people get around more efficiently.

"What we're establishing is the groundwork for smart cities — the ability to intelligently manage our entire transit system," Adair said.

The detectors are about 1 inch tall, which is similar to road reflectors. Yorke said that if needed, they can be built about 1 inch into the pavement. That would make them flush with the surface of the roadway.

Seminole County traffic planners said the new devices were installed in late July and a 30-day testing period for them should soon begin.