• Transit Signal Priority
  • Transit Signal Priority
  • Emergency Vehicle Preemption

Increase Safety — Decrease Travel Time

Emergency Vehicle Preemption and Transit Signal Priority

The EMTRAC Priority Management System uses precise navigation technology and secure RF communication to detect equipped transit, emergency, and municipal vehicles and to place priority or preemption requests to intersection signal-control equipment.

For rail-specific transit applications, please also visit EMTRAC Rail.


EMTRAC Introduction Video: Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP)
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the technological leader in signal priority

EMTRAC Rail Line Safety Video: Rail Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Safety System
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Rail-Line Safety

EMTRAC Rail-Line Safety

with rail-operator notifications

EMTRAC Rail Worker Safety Video: Demonstrating how Transit Agencies Can Improve Safety for Right-of-Way Rail Workers
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Rail Worker Safety

EMTRAC Rail-Worker Safety

wayside and onboard notification system

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Rail Worker Safety Demo
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Rail Worker Safety Demo Thumbnail

BART Worker-Safety Demo

BART Worker-Safety Demo

safety notifications when trains approach wayside rail workers

EMTRAC Rail Worker Safety Test Video
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Rail Safety Test

EMTRAC Rail-Safety Test

right-of-way and rail-operator notifications

EMTRAC News Items

Motorcycle at Intersection Waiting for Green Light

Detecting Motorcycles has been an Ongoing Issue for Traffic Agencies

October 15, 2018 – EMTRAC Systems has partnered with Columbia County Traffic Engineering to design and implement a mobile application for small vehicles (such as bicycles and motorcycles). The mobile app is known as Ride On Time Columbia County and is available for free download in the Apple and Google stores for iOS and Android.

Columbia County, which is part of the Augusta, Georgia metro area, is the first location in the United States to release this app to the public. The app is designed to enable county traffic-signal controllers to detect the presence of bicycles and motorcycles at intersections, thereby ensuring these small vehicles are granted green signals rather than being ignored by the signal-phase sequence.

According to county Public Relations Manager Cassidy Harris, detection of bicycles and motorcycles has long been a challenge for intersection signal controllers.

"Traffic engineers recognized that, hey, this light has been red for so long, but there’s a motorcyclist here." By using this app, cyclists and riders in smaller vehicles will be picked up by traffic signals and no longer sit at red lights for prolonged periods of time. Harris said, "So now, if they’re in the zone and they have the app, it’s going to talk to the signal and help to change that red to green."

As a small vehicle enters the detection zone for a given intersection, the app sends a notification to the intersection so it can serve a green light for the detected vehicle. As part of the system, the Ride on Time app will not necessarily trigger a green light for the motorist, but will ensure they are not skipped during a traffic phase. The mobile app is expected increase rider safety on the county’s roadways as they will not need to make an illegal turn while waiting on the signal to change.

Ride on Time Columbia County works at all equipped intersections throughout the county and has a thirty minute run-time before the user has to start the app again. The user’s phone will vibrate once they have entered the detection zone as long as their location services are on so that they are aware they have been recognized by the signal.

The EMTRAC Priority Management System uses precise navigation technology and secure RF communication to detect equipped transit, emergency, and municipal vehicles and to place priority or preemption requests to intersection signal-control equipment. For over 25 years. the EMTRAC system has been used throughout North America to help first-response and transit vehicles get to their destination both quickly and safely. EMTRAC staff members have extensive experience in traffic and transit management.

EMTRAC vehicle equipment mounted in a fire engine, Coquitlam, BC

EMTRAC-equipped fire engine, Coquitlam, BC

April 5, 2017 – STC, Inc., manufacturer of the EMTRAC signal-priority system, has integrated the Galileo satellite navigation system with EMTRAC equipment installed in transit and emergency vehicles. Similar to the GPS navigation system maintained by the United States, Galileo is the new European navigation system and will have 24 operational satellites at full capacity. The Galileo system commenced limited initial service on December 15, 2016—and EMTRAC is the first signal-priority system capable of Galileo satellite navigation.

Signal priority systems are installed in traffic systems throughout North America, and they are referred to as either Transit Signal Priority (TSP) or Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) when describing the specific method used to grant priority to equipped vehicles. With this system, equipped vehicles are able to automatically request green signals through equipped intersections, safely reducing travel time while increasing efficiency.

With this addition, the EMTRAC system simultaneously tracks Galileo system satellites along with the GPS and GLONASS constellations, increasing the overall number of satellites used to determine vehicle positions, resulting in enhanced accuracy. The EMTRAC system also utilizes dead-reckoning navigation through multiple inertial sensors, including three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope sensing to maintain accuracy in difficult urban conditions, such as urban canyons, tunnels, and multi-level highways.

An EMTRAC-equipped rapid-transit bus in San Jose, CA

EMTRAC-equipped bus in San Jose, CA (VTA)

According to STC President Brad Cross, integration of the Galileo navigation system immediately increases accuracy, and performance will continue to improve in the coming years.

"As more satellites are added to the Galileo constellation, and it becomes fully operational, we expect the EMTRAC system to be more reliable than ever in areas where sky view is obstructed," Cross said.

STC recently conducted a controlled test of the EMTRAC system—using Galileo navigation exclusively. During the test, an EMTRAC-equipped vehicle successfully interpreted detection zones and transmitted priority requests to a simulated intersection utilizing only Galileo satellites.

"We believe this to be the first test of its kind in North America," Cross said.

While high precision is not necessary for many signal-priority scenarios, Cross says there are specific situations where it is essential.

"Precision positioning is critical for applications like rail-worker safety and lane-specific signal response, and the availability of additional navigation systems improves accuracy, particularly in those areas where it's very difficult to obtain a satellite fix."

Similar technology is also used on EMTRAC transit-rail products, which alert train operators and wayside workers when there's potential for unsafe conditions.

"We need to be able to report which track a particular train or worker is on at a rail yard where there may be 10 or 15 sets of tracks, side by side," Cross said.

Cross added that all future deliveries for EMTRAC vehicle equipment will include Galileo capability, and vehicle equipment with Galileo capability will be compatible with existing EMTRAC wayside equipment, making upgrades to installed wayside equipment unnecessary.

STC has manufactured the EMTRAC system for over 25 years, and it is used by traffic, transit, and first-response agencies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

EMTRAC Rail website: http://www.emtracrail.com

European Global Naviation Satellite Systems Agency website: https://www.gsc-europa.eu/system-status/Constellation-Information