Researchers develop low-cost stop-sign warning system for Rural Roads at Night

Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio believe they have found a low-cost solution to improving safety when driving rural roads at night.

The Rural Area Vehicle Detection, as it is called, is a solar-powered warning system that alerts drivers to an upcoming stop sign, reports UTSA Today. The system’s thermal-energy technology detects vehicles nearing the intersection by the vehicle’s energy and then sets off a flashing light above the sign. It can also detect the vehicle’s speed, direction and classification.

The system has a vehicle detection rate of 90 percent and a vehicle classification rate of 72 percent, according to UTSA. Along with being more accurate, researchers say that at $60 to $100 per unit, the system costs less than other traffic sensing technologies, such as magnetic loop inductors, video image processors and microwave radar.